Long-term evolution of composition and structure after repeated group selection over eight decades
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Canadian Journal of Forest Research
In northeastern North America, group selection is frequently used in northern hardwood forests to maintain uneven-aged stand structure and promote regeneration of tree species spanning a range of shade tolerances. For this study, long-term application of group selection at the Bartlett Experimental Forest, New Hampshire, USA, provided a unique opportunity to address cohort- and stand-level progression after 80 years of treatment. Cohort-level evolution reflected successional and developmental dynamics associated with even-aged forest systems, whereas aggregate stand-level conditions were consistent with expectations for uneven-aged systems. As cohorts aged, diameter distributions progressed towards descending monotonic forms and species composition transitioned from shade-intolerant species to shade-tolerant species. Standing deadwood and downed woody material in cohorts followed trajectories of aging even-aged stands through time. Although American beech (Fagus grandifolia Ehrh.) was a primary species across cohorts and at the stand level, stand-level regeneration included a mixture of ecologically and commercially valuable species. These long-term results offer important insights into emergent cohort- and stand-level conditions and processes that may affect continued recruitment of desirable compositional and structural conditions in stands managed using group selection over numerous cutting cycles.
Keywordsgroup selection; uneven-age management; northern hardwood; silviculture
Rogers, Nicole S.; D'Amato, Anthony W.; Leak, William B. 2021. Long-term evolution of composition and structure after repeated group selection over eight decades. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 51(7): 1080-1091. https://doi.org/10.1139/cjfr-2020-0339.