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    Author(s): David M. Hix; P. Charles Goebel; Heather L. Whitman
    Date: 2011
    Source: In: Fei, Songlin; Lhotka, John M.; Stringer, Jeffrey W.; Gottschalk, Kurt W.; Miller, Gary W., eds. Proceedings, 17th central hardwood forest conference; 2010 April 5-7; Lexington, KY; Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-78. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 177-185.
    Publication Series: General Technical Report - Proceedings
    Station: Northern Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (120.33 KB)

    Description

    The increased importance of integrating concepts of natural disturbance regimes into forest management, as well as the need to manage for complex forest structures, requires an understanding of how forest stands develop following natural disturbances. One of the primary natural disturbance types occurring in beech-maple ecosystems of the Central Hardwood Forest is canopy gaps. We characterized canopy gaps of an old-growth beech-maple stand in north-central Ohio and compared these characteristics with an adjacent mature second-growth stand. Using a line-intercept approach, we found that 9.3 percent of the forest area of the old-growth stand was in canopy gaps while 3.7 percent of the second-growth stand was in canopy gaps. Mean canopy gap size was not different between the old-growth and second-growth stands (145.6 m2 and 126.8 m2, respectively). Mean gap-maker size was larger in the old-growth stand than in the second-growth stand, and the species compositions of gapmakers were similar to the surrounding canopy trees. However, the modes of canopy gap formation were not different despite the differences in gapmaker species. Sugar maple and American beech are the dominant tree species regenerating in canopy gaps in both stands. Based on our results, forest managers may be able to emulate canopy gap dynamics in similar forest ecosystems using the selection method.

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    Citation

    Hix, David M.; Goebel, P. Charles; Whitman, Heather L. 2011. Canopy gap characteristics of an old-growth and an adjacent second-growth beech-maple stand in north-central Ohio. In: Fei, Songlin; Lhotka, John M.; Stringer, Jeffrey W.; Gottschalk, Kurt W.; Miller, Gary W., eds. Proceedings, 17th central hardwood forest conference; 2010 April 5-7; Lexington, KY; Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-78. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 177-185.

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