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Sharing the load to develop young-growth silviculture for forage and biodiversity in southeast Alaska

Author(s):

Toni L. De Santo
Sheila R. Spores

Year:

2020

Publication type:

Paper (invited, offered, keynote)

Primary Station(s):

Rocky Mountain Research Station

Historical Station(s):

Northern Research Station

Source:

In: Pile, Lauren S.; Deal, Robert L.; Dey, Daniel C.; Gwaze, David; Kabrick, John M.; Palik, Brian J.; Schuler, Thomas M., comps. The 2019 National Silviculture Workshop: a focus on forest management-research partnerships. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-193. Madison, WI: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 170-192.

Description

Approximately 170,000 ha have been logged on the Tongass National Forest since the early 20th century, resulting in a vast network of young, and even-aged Sitka spruce–western hemlock stands. Many of these stands are in a stem exclusion phase, with dense overstories that competitively shade out understories. In 2001, a USDA Forest Service planning committee convened to develop multiple resource treatments to examine the effects of precommercial thinning, resulting in a collaborative, long-term project to improve knowledge and catalyze the Tongass-Wide Young Growth Studies (TWYGS) project. This project was designed collaboratively, implemented by partners across the Tongass, and monitored via the Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station. Of the four TWYGS experiments, one has been measured three times in 16 years since treatment. We examine forest development following three levels of precommercial thinning in 15- to 25-year-old stands: unthinned, 4.3 m spacing, and 5.5 m spacing. Results from 5, 10, and 16 years highlight key differences in understory cover and forage biomass between thinned and unthinned treatments. We identify tradeoffs between overstory and understory development following treatment, which will have impacts on future management planning. TWYGS is a hallmark of management-research collaboration, and provides much needed insight into young-growth silviculture throughout the temperate rainforest.

Citation

Crotteau, Justin S.; McClellan, Michael H.; De Santo, Toni L.; Spores, Sheila R.; Barnard, Jeffrey C. 2020. Sharing the load to develop young-growth silviculture for forage and biodiversity in southeast Alaska. In: Pile, Lauren S.; Deal, Robert L.; Dey, Daniel C.; Gwaze, David; Kabrick, John M.; Palik, Brian J.; Schuler, Thomas M., comps. The 2019 National Silviculture Workshop: a focus on forest management-research partnerships. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-193. Madison, WI: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 170-192. https://doi.org/10.2737/NRS-GTR-P-193-paper24.

Cited

Publication Notes

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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.
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/60270