Modeling the Influence of Dynamic Zoning of Forest Harvesting on Ecological Succession in a Northern Hardwoods Landscape
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Environmental Management Vol. 35, No. 4, pp. 410-425
Dynamic zoning (systematic alteration in the spatial and temporal allocation of even-aged forest management practices) has been proposed as a means to change the spatial pattern of timber harvest across a landscape to maximize forest interior habitat while holding timber harvest levels constant. Simulation studies have established that dynamic zoning strategies produce larger tracts of interior, closed canopy forest, thus increasing the value of these landscapes for interior-dependent wildlife. We used the simulation model LANDIS to examine how the implementation of a dynamic zoning strategy would change trajectories of ecological succession in the Great Divide Ranger District of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in northern Wisconsin over 500 years. The components of dynamic zoning strategies (number of zones in a scenario and the length of the hiatus between successive entries into zones) and their interaction had highly significant impacts on patterns of forest succession. Dynamic zoning scenarios with more zones and shorter hiatus lengths increased the average amount of the forest dominated by early successional aspen (Populus sp.). Dynamic zoning scenarios with two zones produced more late successional mature northern hardwoods than scenarios with four zones. Dynamic zoning scenarios with very short (30 years) or very long (120 years) hiatus lengths resulted in more late successional mature northern hardwoods than scenarios with intermediate hiatus lengths (60 and 90 years). However, none of the dynamic scenarios produced as much late successional mature northern hardwoods as the static alternative. Furthermore, the amounts of all habitat types in all dynamic zoning scenarios fluctuated greatly in time and space relative to static alternatives, which could negatively impact wildlife species that require a stable amount of habitat above some minimum critical threshold. Indeed, implementing dynamic zoning scenarios of different designs would have both positive and negative effects on wildlife species and for other objectives of forest management.
KeywordsAmerican marten dynamic zoning landscape pattern LANDIS ruffed grouse simulation model succession
Zollner, Patrick A.; Gustafson, Eric J.; He, Hong S.; Radeloff, Volker C.; Mladenoff, David J. 2005. Modeling the Influence of Dynamic Zoning of Forest Harvesting on Ecological Succession in a Northern Hardwoods Landscape. Environmental Management Vol. 35, No. 4, pp. 410-425