Forest structure following tornado damage and salvage logging in northern Maine, USA
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Canadian Journal of Forest Research
Understanding forest structural changes resulting from postdisturbance management practices such as salvage logging is critical for predicting forest recovery and developing appropriate management strategies. In 2013, a tornado and subsequent salvage operations in northern Maine, USA, created three conditions (i.e., treatments) with contrasting forest structure: blowdown, blowdown + salvage, and control (undisturbed). We sampled forest structure in five stands representing each of these three treatments. Our results document obvious and predictable changes to forest structure caused by the blowdown and salvage operations; however, they also include unexpected findings: downed coarse woody debris volume remained quite high in the salvaged areas, although its vertical distribution was markedly reduced; salvage operations did not reduce fine woody debris volume; and the salvage operation itself reduced the abundance of upturned root masses. Our study contributes to a growing body of literature highlighting the fact that outcomes of salvage operations vary considerably from situation to situation. Nevertheless, they suggest that salvage logging has important implications for residual stand structure and regeneration potential and that these implications should be considered carefully when weighing postdisturbance management options.
Keywordsfire risk; fuel loads; pit-and-mound; Picea rubens; wind disturbance; woody debris
Fraver, Shawn; Dodds, Kevin J.; Kenefic, Laura S.; Morrill, Rick; Seymour, Robert S.; Sypitkowski, Eben. 2017. Forest structure following tornado damage and salvage logging in northern Maine, USA. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 47(4): 560-564. https://doi.org/10.1139/cjfr-2016-0395.