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    Author(s): William H. McWilliams; James A. WestfallPatrick H. BroseDaniel C. DeyMark HatfieldKatherine Johnson; Kenneth M. Laustsen; Shawn L. Lehman; Randall S. MorinMark D. NelsonTodd E. RistauAlejandro A. RoyoSusan L. StoutThomas WillardChristopher W. Woodall
    Date: 2015
    Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-148. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 74 p.
    Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
    Station: Northern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (3.53 MB)


    The density and composition of regeneration drives future forest character for forests in need of replacement. Forested ecosystems face numerous regeneration stressors including invasive plants, insects and diseases, herbivory, lack of management, and climate change. As stands that make up these systems age, it is imperative to track the viability of forest reproduction. The information required for understanding the complexity of forest dynamics during the stand establishment stage has been lacking in our Nation's forest inventory. This poses a particular problem for analysts working with the major deciduous forest systems of the Midwest and Northeast United States that require detailed information on advance reproduction. To address this need, the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program of the U.S. Forest Service, Northern Research Station (NRS) has added protocols for measuring all established tree seedlings and for assessing browse impact. This information is compiled using new NRS-FIA forest sampling and analytical methodologies—the regeneration indicator. The regeneration indicator is described along with examples and suggestions to guide research on the difficult question of whether the region’s forests are able to regenerate in the face of numerous stressors.

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    McWilliams, William H.; Westfall, James A.; Brose, Patrick H.; Dey, Daniel C.; Hatfield, Mark; Johnson, Katherine; Laustsen, Kenneth M.; Lehman, Shawn L.; Morin, Randall S.; Nelson, Mark D.; Ristau, Todd E.; Royo, Alejandro A.; Stout, Susan L.; Willard, Thomas; Woodall, Christopher W. 2015. A regeneration indicator for Forest Inventory and Analysis: history, sampling, estimation, analytics, and potential use in the midwest and northeast United States. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-148. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 74 p.


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    forest sustainability, forest management, forest regeneration, tree reproduction, mixed oaks, northern hardwoods

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