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    Author(s): T.A. Spies; W.J. Ripple; G.A. Bradshaw
    Date: 1994
    Source: Ecological Applications. 4(3): 555-568
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    PDF: View PDF  (1.1 MB)

    Description

    We examined the process of fragmentation in a managed forest landscape by comparing rates and patterns of disturbance (primarily clear-cutting) and regrowth between 1972 and 1988 using Landsat imagery. A 2589-km2 managed forest landscape in western Oregon was classified into two forest types, closed-canopy conifer forest (CF) (typically, > 60% conifer cover) and other forest and nonforest types (OT) (typically, < 40 yr old or deciduous forest). The percentage of CF declined from 71 to 58% between 1972 and 1988. Declines were greatest on private land, least in wilderness, and intermediate in public nonwilderness. High elevations (>914 m) maintained a greater percentage of CF than lower elevations (<914 m). The percentage of the area at the edge of the two cover types increased on all ownerships and in both elevational zones, whereas the amount of interior habitat (defined as CF at least 100 m from OT) decreased on all ownerships and elevational zones. By 1988 public lands contained ¡Ö45% interior habitat while private lands had 12% interior habitat. Mean interior patch area declined from 160 to 62 ha. The annual rate of disturbance (primarily clear-cutting) for the entire area including the wilderness was 1.19%, which corresponds to a cutting rotation of 84 yr. The forest landscape was not in a steady state or regulated condition which is not projected to occur for at least 40 yr under current forest plans. Variability in cutting rates within ownerships was higher on private land than on nonreserve public land. However, despite the use of dispersed cutting patterns on public land, spatial patterns of cutting and remnant forest patches were nonuniform across the entire public ownership. Large remaining patches (<5000 ha) of contiguous interior forest were restricted to public lands designated for uses other than timber production such as wilderness areas and research natural areas.

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    Citation

    Spies, T.A.; Ripple, W.J.; Bradshaw, G.A. 1994. Dynamics and pattern of a managed coniferous forest landscape in Oregon. Ecological Applications. 4(3): 555-568

    Keywords

    clear-cutting, disturbance, edge habitat, forest management, habitat fragmentation, heterogeneity, interior habitat, landscape pattern, patchiness, remote sensing

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