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    Author(s): Keith B. Aubry; Charles B. Halpern
    Date: 2020
    Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-978. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 136 p.
    Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
    Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (11.0 MB)


    The Demonstration of Ecosystem Management Options (DEMO) Study is an operational-scale experiment in variable-retention harvests with six installations in western Washington and Oregon. Initiated in 1994, the experiment was designed to test key assumptions underlying standards and guidelines in the Northwest Forest Plan for regeneration harvests on matrix lands. The orthogonal portion of the six-treatment design (15 and 40 percent retention in both aggregated and dispersed patterns) is unique among large-scale variable-retention experiments, allowing for independent tests of responses to retention level and pattern and to their interaction. The DEMO Study is a multidisciplinary experiment designed to evaluate the dynamics of a diverse array of forest organisms (understory and overstory vegetation, wildlife, arthropods, and fungi), including their short-term responses to disturbance and longer term responses to changes in forest structure. However, maintaining financial support for the study over several decades has been challenging. Consequently, most studies were limited to the short term, although assessments of overstory structure and conifer regeneration extend to 18 to 19 years after treatment. This comprehensive reference document is designed to facilitate future research on the DEMO sites by providing information needed to relocate or reestablish the sampling grids, and to access existing data for comparative analyses or syntheses. It contains details on the study design, treatment histories, experimental sites, sampling infrastructure, response variables, methods and histories of sampling, and data and metadata archives.

    Publication Notes

    • Visit PNW's Publication Request Page to request a hard copy of this publication.
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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Aubry, Keith B.; Halpern, Charles B. 2020. The Demonstration of Ecosystem Management Options (DEMO) Study, a long-term experiment in variable-retention harvests: rationale, experimental and sampling designs, treatment implementation, response variables, and data accessibility. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-978. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 136 p.


    DEMO Study, long-term studies, multidisciplinary studies, Pacific Northwest, structural retention, variable-retention harvests.

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