Skip to Main Content
Effects of Management on the Composition and Structure of Northern Hardwood Forests in Upper MichiganAuthor(s): Thomas R. Crow; David S. Buckley; Elizabeth A. Nauertz; John C. Zasada
Source: Forest Science 48(1):129?145.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: North Central Research Station
PDF: View PDF (1.54 MB)
DescriptionTo improve our understanding of how management affects the composition and structure of northern hardwood forests, we compared managed with unmanaged sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.) dominated forests. Unmanaged old-growth and unmanaged second-growth forests provided baselines for comparing the effects of even-aged and uneven-aged forest management on selected aspects of biological diversity. Three replications of each condition were located on the Winegar Moraine in Michigan?s Upper Peninsula. Old-growth forests were multistoried, dominated by a few, large trees with well-developed crowns extending over a subcanopy stratum 10?15 m in height and an abundance of woody vegetation (mostly sugar maple seedlings) at 2?3 m. This complex stand structure contrasts with the relatively uniform structure of unmanaged second-growth forests with a closed overstory canopy and limited understory development. Forest management, both even- and unevenaged, created forest structures that were more complex than their unmanaged second-growth baselines, yet managed forests lacked some of the structural complexity characteristic of old-growth. Managed forests had fewer large trees (stem diameter at 1.37 m > 50 cm) and considerably less basal area in dead trees when compared with old-growth. There were fewer tree species in managed forests because commercially important tree species were favored for retention and, when present, early successional species (e.g., Populus grandidentata Michx. , Populus tremuloides Michx.) were harvested. A subcanopy comprised of large shrubs and small trees characteristic of old growth was absent in managed forests, but this structural element may develop with time under management. As expected, thinning the overstory and disturbing the forest floor through tree harvesting promoted understory development in managed forests. Most of the added species, however, were common in the landscape and thus added little to overall species richness.
- Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
- During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
- Please contact Sharon Hobrla, email@example.com if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationCrow, Thomas R.; Buckley, David S.; Nauertz, Elizabeth A. ; Zasada, John C. 2002. Effects of Management on the Composition and Structure of Northern Hardwood Forests in Upper Michigan. Forest Science 48(1):129?145.
KeywordsPlant diversity, stand structure, northern hardwoods, Acer saccharum, silviculture, Michigan, forest management, old-growth.
- Effects of uneven-aged and diameter-limit management on West Virginia tree and wood quality
- Stem wood properties of Populus tremuloides, Betula papyrifera and Acer saccharum saplings after three years of treatments to elevated carbon dioxide and ozone
- Population dynamics of sugar maple through the southern portion of its range: implications for range migration
XML: View XML