Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Troy D. Heithecker; Charles B. Halpern
    Date: 2007
    Source: Forest Ecology and Management. 248: 163-173
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (1.0 MB)

    Description

    Aggregated retention is now a common method of regeneration harvest in forest ecosystems managed for both timber and ecological objectives. If residual forest aggregates are to serve as temporary refugia for species sensitive to disturbance or environmental stress, microclimatic conditions must be sufficiently buffered to allow for their persistence. In 1-ha aggregates at three experimental sites in western Washington, we quantified spatial gradients in microclimate (light, air and soil temperature, and soil moisture), effects of aspect on these gradients, and how microclimate compared to conditions in adjacent harvest areas and larger tracts of undisturbed forest (controls). Light availability and temperature were greatest at the edge, but declined sharply inside the aggregate, with most change occurring within 20 m of the edge. Beyond this distance, light generally declined to levels observed in the controls. Soil temperatures exhibited greater spatial variation and stabilized further from the edge (10 to 30 m), but air temperatures were generally higher than those in controls. Soil moisture exhibited no spatial trends and was comparable among aggregates, harvest areas, and controls. Aspect exerted strong effects on light and temperature, particularly within 15 m of the edge, as did forest structure. Where tree density was low, microclimatic gradients were less steep and aspect-related differences were small. Comparisons with previous studies of ground vegetation indicate that microclimatic effects were consistent, in part, with declines among some groups of vascular and nonvascular plants; however, these declines were restricted to edge environments (5 to 10 m) and were unaffected by aspect. Our results suggest that 1-ha aggregates are sufficiently large to contain areas with light, temperature, and soil moisture that are comparable to those in undisturbed forest and suitable, in the short term, for persistence of forest-dependent species.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to pnw_pnwpubs@fs.fed.us to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • 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.

    Citation

    Heithecker, Troy D.; Halpern, Charles B. 2007. Edge-related gradients in microclimate in forest aggregates following structural retention harvests in western Washington. Forest Ecology and Management. 248: 163-173.

    Keywords

    Aggregated retention, edge effects, forest microclimate, light, temperature, variable-retention

    Related Search


    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/33105