Accelerating the development of old-growth characteristics in second-growth northern hardwoods
Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-144. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 33 p.
Active management techniques that emulate natural forest disturbance and stand development processes have the potential to enhance species diversity, structural complexity, and spatial heterogeneity in managed forests, helping to meet goals related to biodiversity, ecosystem health, and forest resilience in the face of uncertain future conditions. There are a number of steps to complete before, during, and after deciding to use active management for this purpose. These steps include specifying objectives and identifying initial targets, recognizing and addressing contemporary stressors that may hinder the ability to meet those objectives and targets, conducting a pretreatment evaluation, developing and implementing treatments, and evaluating treatments for success of implementation and for effectiveness after application. In this report we discuss these steps as they may be applied to second-growth northern hardwood forests in the northern Lake States region, using our experience with the ongoing managed old-growth silvicultural study (MOSS) as an example. We provide additional examples from other applicable studies across the region.
Keywordscompositional diversity; structural complexity; spatial heterogeneity; Wisconsin; old-growth forest; active management; Lake States
Fassnacht, Karin S.; Bronson, Dustin R.; Palik, Brian J.; D'Amato, Anthony W.; Lorimer, Craig, G.; Martin, Karl J. 2015. Accelerating the development of old-growth characteristics in second-growth northern hardwoods. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-144. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 33 p. https://doi.org/10.2737/NRS-GTR-144.