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    The species composition of both standing live and down dead trees has been used separately to determine forest stand dynamics in large-scale forest ecosystem assessments. The species composition of standing live trees has been used to indicate forest stand diversity while the species composition of down dead trees has been used to indicate wildlife habitat. To assess the ability of combined species information of standing live and down dead trees to indicate forest stand dynamics (i.e., successional trends), the species compositions of standing live trees and coarse woody debris (CWD) were compared using data from forest inventory plots across large-scales. Distinct differences were found between the species composition of standing live trees and that of CWD for nearly half of all study observations. However, there was no predictable shift in species composition along a defined forest succession trajectory with species composition shifts appearing to be successionally forward and backward depending on unique forest stand histories, CWD decay rates, stand structure, species composition, and site attributes. Suggested as a methodology complementary to other techniques such as historical stand reconstruction, differences in species composition of standing live and down dead trees may help indicate historical mortality patterns and successional directions of forest stands.

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    Woodall, C. W.; Nagel, L. M. 2006. Coarse woody type: A new method for analyzing coarse woody debris and forest change. Forest Ecology and Management 227 (2006) 115-121


    Coarse woody debris, coarse woody type, forest type, stand reconstruction, inventory

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