Skip to Main Content
Natural disturbance and stand development principles for ecological forestryAuthor(s): Jerry F. Franklin; Robert J. Mitchell; Brian J. Palik
Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-19. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 44 p.
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Northern Research Station
Download Publication (3.88 MB)
DescriptionForesters use natural disturbances and stand development processes as models for silvicultural practices in broad conceptual ways. Incorporating an understanding of natural disturbance and stand development processes more fully into silvicultural practice is the basis for an ecological forestry approach. Such an approach must include 1) understanding the importance of biological legacies created by a tree regenerating disturbance and incorporating legacy management into harvesting prescriptions; 2) recognizing the role of stand development processes, particularly individual tree mortality, in generating structural and compositional heterogeneity in stands and implementing thinning prescriptions that enhance this heterogeneity; and 3) appreciating the role of recovery periods between disturbance events in the development of stand complexity. We label these concepts, when incorporated into a comprehensive silvicultural approach, the "three-legged stool" of ecological forestry. Our goal in this report is to review the scientific basis for the three-legged stool of ecological forestry to provide a conceptual foundation for its wide implementation.
- 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, firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
CitationFranklin, Jerry F.; Mitchell, Robert J.; Palik, Brian J. 2007. Natural disturbance and stand development principles for ecological forestry. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-19. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 44 p.
Keywordsecological forestry, silviculture, biological diversity, stand complexity, biological legacies, ecological management
- Disturbances and structural development of natural forest ecosystems with silvicultural implications, using Douglas-fir forests as an example.
- Ecological forestry in the Southeast: Understanding the ecology of fuels
- Emulating natural disturbance regimes: an emerging approach for sustainable forest management
XML: View XML