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Can live tree size-density relationships provide a mechanism for predicting down and dead tree resources?Author(s): Christopher Woodall; James Westfall
Source: In: McWilliams, Will; Moisen, Gretchen; Czaplewski, Ray, comps. Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) Symposium 2008; October 21-23, 2008; Park City, UT. Proc. RMRS-P-56CD. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 8 p.
Publication Series: Proceedings (P)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
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DescriptionLive tree size-density relationships in forests have long provided a framework for understanding stand dynamics. There has been little examination of the relationship between the size-density attributes of live and standing/down dead trees (e.g., number and mean tree size per unit area, such information could help in large-scale efforts to estimate dead wood resources. The goal of this study was to examine the relationship between standing live, standing dead, and downed dead trees in the context of size-density attributes using a national inventory of forests. Our results indicated that from the lowest to the highest live tree relative stand density, the mean biomass/ha of live trees increased by more than 2,000 percent while the mean biomass/ha of standing dead and downed dead trees increased 295 and 75 percent, respectively. Correlations between downed dead wood and stand/site attributes reached their highest level (r > 0.60) when a stand's relative density exceeded 80 percent. We propose a model for highly stocked stands whereby downed and dead wood biomass may be predicted based on live/dead tree size-density attributes, stand age, and climatic factors. We also provide an alternative model for moderate/low stocked stands whereby potential maximum live biomass may serve as a limit to dead wood resources with stochastic events (e.g., wind/mortality disturbances) as high-impact variables. Overall, the size-density attributes of live/dead trees may help guide the estimation of downed and dead wood attributes in forests.
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CitationWoodall, Christopher W.; Westfall, James A. 2009. Can live tree size-density relationships provide a mechanism for predicting down and dead tree resources? In: McWilliams, Will; Moisen, Gretchen; Czaplewski, Ray, comps. Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) Symposium 2008; October 21-23, 2008; Park City, UT. Proc. RMRS-P-56CD. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 8 p.
Keywordsdowned dead wood, stand density index, size-density, self-thinning, coarse woody debris
- Relationships between the stocking levels of live trees and dead tree attributes in forests of the United States
- Relationships between the attributes of standing live and dead down trees in forests of the Lake States
- Biomass and carbon attributes of downed woody materials in forests of the United States
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