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Visualization of heterogeneous forest structures following treatment in the southern Rocky MountainsAuthor(s): Wade T. Tinkham; Yvette Dickinson; Chad M. Hoffman; Mike A. Battaglia; Seth Ex; Jeffrey Underhill
Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-365. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 72 p.
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
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DescriptionManipulation of forest spatial patterns has become a common objective in restoration prescriptions throughout the central and southern Rocky Mountain dry-mixed conifer forest systems. Pre-Euro-American settlement forest reconstructions indicate that frequent-fire regimes developed forests with complex mosaics of individual trees, tree clumps of varying size, and openings. While it is broadly agreed upon that restoration to these forest conditions will improve ecosystem function, development of treatment prescriptions that can achieve desired spatial patterns on the landscape have been met with different levels of success. The central purpose of this tool is to link quantitative and visual descriptions of immediate post-treatment spatial forest structure to help communicate desired spatial structures at the stand level in dry forest types of the Rocky Mountains. This tool was developed by simulating four different treatments across four stands with varying productivity that had been identified as candidates for ecological restoration. The simulated treatments included a thin from below, random tree selection, moderate clumping, and high clumping prescriptions. Following the simulated treatments, we produced a visual representation of the spatial pattern of the residual trees and openings; calculated traditional stand-scale metrics; and described the fine-scale forest structure including individual trees, clumps of trees, and openings. This tool is intended to help communicate the outcomes of complex silvicultural treatments to resource managers, contractors, specialists, and others when attempting to meet spatially explicit treatment objectives.
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CitationTinkham, Wade T.; Dickinson, Yvette; Hoffman, Chad M.; Battaglia, Mike A.; Ex, Seth; Underhill, Jeffrey. 2017. Visualization of heterogeneous forest structures following treatment in the southern Rocky Mountains. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-365. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 72 p.
Keywordsspatial heterogeneity, forest restoration, spatial statistics, spatial structure, point pattern analysis, structural complexity, variable retention harvesting
- Spatially explicit measurements of forest structure and fire behavior following restoration treatments in dry forests
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