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Salvage logging effects on regulating and supporting ecosystem services — a systematic map

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Leverkus, Alexandro B.; Rey Benayas, José María; Castro, Jorge ; Boucher, Dominique ; Brewer, Stephen ; Collins, Brandon M.; Donato, Daniel ; Fraver, Shawn ; Kishchuk, Barbara E.; Lee, Eun-Jae ; Lindenmayer, David B.; Lingua, Emanuele ; Macdonald, Ellen ; Marzano, Raffaella ; Rhoades, Charles C.; Royo, Alejandro ; Thorn, Simon ; Wagenbrenner, Joseph W.; Waldron, Kaysandra ; Wohlgemuth, Thomas ; Gustafsson, Lena

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Canadian Journal of Forest Research


Wildfires, insect outbreaks, and windstorms are increasingly common forest disturbances. Post-disturbance management often involves salvage logging, i.e., the felling and removal of the affected trees; however, this practice may represent an additional disturbance with effects on ecosystem processes and services. We developed a systematic map to provide an overview of the primary studies on this topic and created a database with information on the characteristics of the retrieved publications, including information on stands, disturbance, intervention, measured outcomes, and study design. Of 4341 retrieved publications, 90 were retained in the systematic map. These publications represented 49 studies, predominantly from North America and Europe. Salvage logging after wildfire was addressed more frequently than after insect outbreaks or windstorms. Most studies addressed logging after a single disturbance event, and replication of salvaged stands rarely exceeded 10. The most frequent response variables were tree regeneration, ground cover, and deadwood characteristics. This document aims to help managers find the most relevant primary studies on the ecological effects of salvage logging. It also aims to identify and discuss clusters and gaps in the body of evidence, relevant for scientists who aim to synthesize previous work or identify questions for future studies.


salvage harvesting; sanitation logging; wildfire; insect outbreak; windthrow


Leverkus, Alexandro B.; Rey Benayas, José María; Castro, Jorge; Boucher, Dominique; Brewer, Stephen; Collins, Brandon M.; Donato, Daniel; Fraver, Shawn; Kishchuk, Barbara E.; Lee, Eun-Jae; Lindenmayer, David B.; Lingua, Emanuele; Macdonald, Ellen; Marzano, Raffaella; Rhoades, Charles C.; Royo, Alejandro; Thorn, Simon; Wagenbrenner, Joseph W.; Waldron, Kaysandra; Wohlgemuth, Thomas; Gustafsson, Lena. 2018. Salvage logging effects on regulating and supporting ecosystem services — a systematic map. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 48(9): 983-1000.

Last updated on: April 15, 2019