Skip to Main Content
Dry coniferous forest restoration and understory plant diversity: The importance of community heterogeneity and the scale of observationAuthor(s): Erich Kyle Dodson; David W. Peterson
Source: Forest Ecology and Management. 260(10): 1702-1707.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
Download Publication (299.0 KB)
DescriptionMaintaining understory plant species diversity is an important management goal as forest restoration and fuel reduction treatments are applied extensively to dry coniferous forests of western North America. However, understory diversity is a function of both local species richness (number of species in a sample unit) and community heterogeneity (beta diversity) at multiple spatial scales, while studies of restoration treatment effects often only examine local species richness at one or two spatial scales. We studied experimental thinning and prescribed fire treatment effects on understory plant species richness and community heterogeneity at three spatial scales using additive diversity partitioning. We also evaluated treatment effects on understory plant species colonization and extirpation at two spatial scales. There was no evidence that active restoration treatments reduced species richness or increased local extirpation of species. Restoration treatments significantly increased herbaceous species richness at the treatment unit level primarily by increasing community heterogeneity among sampling points within the units. The combination of thinning and burning produced the greatest increase in community heterogeneity, and increased colonization by species that were not sampled prior to treatment. These results suggest that restoration treatments designed primarily to reduce fire hazard and promote sustainable conditions in these fire-adapted ecosystems can also increase community heterogeneity and facilitate colonization by new understory species without significant local extirpation of extant species.
- You may send email to firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
CitationDodson, Erich K.; Peterson, David W. 2010. Dry coniferous forest restoration and understory plant diversity: The importance of community heterogeneity and the scale of observation. Forest Ecology and Management. 260(10): 1702-1707.
Keywordsbeta diversity, burning, colonization, ponderosa pine, spatial scale, thinning
- Maximizing the monitoring of diversity for management activities: Additive partitioning of plant species diversity across a frequently burned ecosystem
- Historical agriculture alters the effects of fire on understory plant beta diversity
- The assembly of ecological communities inferred from taxonomic and functional composition
XML: View XML