Ecology payoffs from red alder in southeast Alaska.Author(s): Sally Duncan
Source: Science Findings 63. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 5 p.
Publication Series: Science Findings
Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
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DescriptionClearcutting has been the primary timber management practice in southeast Alaska forests since large-scale commercial forestry began in the 1950s. The dense, even-aged conifer stands that subsequently develop, however, may have undesirable consequences for some nontimber resources, most notably fish and wildlife.
Red alder is frequently established in these young-growth conifer stands and appears to provide different forest structural attributes and improved biodiversity that may mitigate some negative effects of harvesting. However, to date, it has been unclear what the ecological functions of red alder are in these ecosystems. Understanding the ecological role of alder in young stands will help aid restoration and management of young forest ecosystems.
Recent findings from the PNW Research Station in Alaska, funded by the Station’s Wood Compatibility Initiative, suggest that red alder may leave a legacy of more open stand conditions, increase forest understory plant and wildlife biodiversity and abundance, and enhance productivity and biological function of headwater streams.
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CitationDuncan, Sally. 2004. Ecology payoffs from red alder in southeast Alaska. Science Findings 63. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 5 p.
- Compatible management of red alder-conifer ecosystems in southeastern Alaska.
- Red alder-conifer stands in Alaska: An example of mixed species management to enhance structural and biological complexity
- Red alder stand development and dynamics.
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