Forest ecology 2011 armn
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  • Plant cells are similar to animal cells except that they have cell walls, central vacuoles, and plasmoderma. Some also have chloroplasts.
  • Soils have a big effect on forest types, but climate also plays a role
  • Fairfax has three main geologic areas: Coastal plain is mixed hardwood and acidic oak-hickory types Upland piedmont is mostly acidic oak-hickory Triassic basin is basic oak-hickory
  • Healthy forests are vertically complex
  • Animals use different layers of the forest
  • Dead trees are also part of a healthy forest. Layers again.
  • An old field will usually progress from bare soil to annuals to perennials to shrubs and eastern red cedar and/or Virginia pine to oak-hickory to maple-beech. Different animals use different stages.
  • Most forest ecosystems are detritus systems rather than grazing systems. This means energy flows from producers to consumers mainly through dead tissues.
  • Notice 90% reduction in biomass/energy at each level.
  • Maple, ash, poplar seeds – have wings Black gum, hackberry, service berry have pulpy fruit that birds and animals eat Acorns and hickory nuts rely on forgotten storage.
  • Species that are intolerant of highly competitive low light conditions are incapable of reproducing, establishing, growing, and maintaining themselves under their own canopies.
  • Disturbances: Fire Wind Ice Man
  • Along successional path there are some stable plant matrices that can be maintained by appropriate disturbance regimes. Meadow, oak-hickory, and loblolly pine forests can be maintained by fire.
  • By using appropriate harvest practices we can manage successional clock to maintain resource values we want. Some harvest is useful for maintaining mosaic landscape favored by wildlife and increasing diversity.
  • Regeneration harvest creates large early successional blocks with high diversity because it will contain meadow and forest species for a time. Seed tree does the same as regeneration but maintains a few mature trees Shelter wood is more forested, lower diversity but good for maintaining oaks Group select will create small meadows within mature forest. Select cut creates room to grow.
  • Two year old clear cut One year old and five year old shelter woods
  • When planting trees plant the right tree in the right place. Does it have room to grow canopy and roots without compromising infrastructure. Generally when a tree conflict with human construct, the tree loses.

Forest ecology 2011 armn Forest ecology 2011 armn Presentation Transcript

  • Forest Ecology Arlington Regional Master Naturalists Basic Training Course Spring 2011 Jim McGlone Urban Forest Conservationist Virginia Department of Forestry
  • Outline
    • How Trees Grow
    • Distribution and Diversity
    • Forest Habitats
    • Forest Ecology
    • Management
    • Forest Threats
    • DOF
    • Citizen Action
  • How a Tree Grows
  • What is a tree? How is a tree different from a perennial herbaceous plant? How is a tree different from a vine? How is a tree different from a shrub?
  • Basic Plant Cell Cell Walls - made of cellulose and lignin Central Vacuoles - stores water and gives rigidity Plasmoderma - connects cytoplasm Chloroplasts - conducts photosynthesis
  • Plant Cell Wall Middle Lamella – shared with other cells, lignin and pectin, gives compressive strength Primary cell wall – oriented cellulose fiber, gives tensile strength Plasma membrane – same as animal cell membrane
  • How does a tree grow?
    • Primary Meristem
    • AKA Buds
    • Elongates into shoots
      • Produces
        • Cortex
        • Epidermis
        • Lateral buds
    • Or becomes a leaf
    • Or becomes a flower
    • Secondary Meristem
    • AKA Cambium
    • Located between bark and wood
    • Produces vascular tissue
      • Xylem persists as wood and moves water and nutrients
      • Phloem becomes bark or is reabsorbed and moves sugars
  • Tree Cross Section
  • Tree Growth Review
    • Growth occurs only from meristem tissue (cambium, stem and root tips).
    • Early (spring) wood is light and softer.
    • Late (summer) wood is dark and denser.
    • 1 light + 1 dark ring = 1 year’s growth
  • Aging and Death
    • Must grow new sapwood every year. Why?
    • This becomes a bigger and bigger energy drain. [ π (2nr + n 2 )]
    • Can grow less wood, but that means less water for energy production.
    • Eventually growth in energy demand is greater than growth in energy production, the tree goes into energy deficit, declines and dies.
  • Distribution of Forests
  • Horizontal Distribution
    • Large scale
      • Climate
      • Geology
    • Landscape scale
      • Soil types
      • topography
  • Climate Average Temperature Date of First/Last Frost Average & Timing of Rainfall Soil weathering
  • Climate Zones in Virginia
    • Virginia Plants
    • Approximately 4,000 species of plants in Virginia
    • Of those 609 considered rare or threatened as of 2007
    • Approximately 750 plant species are introduced
    • Approximately 300 tree species
  • Soil Types Moisture Nutrients
  • Soil Types
  • Soil Type
  • Soil Type
  • Soil Nutrients
  • Topography
  • Forest Types
    • Dominant tree species, but also soil type, elevation or moisture level
    • Dry-Mesic Calcareous Forests
    • Basic Oak – Hickory Forests
    • Acidic Oak – Hickory Forests
    • Montane Mixed Oak and Oak – Hickory Forests
    • Oak / Heath Forests
    • Eastern White Pine – Hardwood Forests
    • Piedmont / Coastal Plain Oak – Beech / Heath Forests
    • Carolina Hemlock Forests
    • Pine – Oak / Heath Woodlands
    • Mountain / Piedmont Acidic Woodlands
  • Northern Virginia Geology
  • Forest Habitats
  • Fauna
    • Birds
    • Mammals
    • Herps
    • Insects
  • Habitat Needs
    • Food
    • Nesting
    • Resting
    • Water
  • Forest Layers
  • Habitat
  • Coarse Woody Debris
  • Edge
  • Forest Ecology
  • Energy Flows
  • Detritus Bio-mass
    • Some Important Processes
  • Trophic Regulation
  • Mychorrhizae
    • Symbiosis between tree roots and fungi.
    • Trees supply energy
    • Fungi supply nutrients and water.
    • Reason forest soils are acidic.
    • Truffles
  • Tree Defenses
    • External Defense
    • Chemicals
      • Nicotine
      • Tannin
      • Salicylic Acid
    • External
      • Fungi and bacteria
      • Birds
      • Mammals
      • Herps
      • Insects
        • Acacia and ants
    • Internal Defense
    • Chemical
      • Fungicides
      • Bactericides
    • Physical
      • Gums and resins
      • Growth rings
      • Parenchymal rays
  • Evolution of Natural Communities
    • Past Management
    • Seed Availability
    • Luck
    • Microclimates and Topography
  • Natural Communities are like Bus Stations Seed Dispersal
  • Competition Tolerance Tolerance Time
  • Tolerance
    • Pioneer species are usually intolerant of competition for light – Virginia Pine, Eastern Red Cedar, Tulip poplar
    • Climax species are very tolerant of competition and can regenerate themselves in their own shade – Maple, Beech, Holly
  • Bio-diversity Bio-diversity Time Most plants are between intolerant pioneer species and tolerant climax species. Climax v. Old Growth
    • Disturbance resets successional clock
    • Highly disturbed systems are stuck in early succession
    • Undisturbed systems progress to climax stage
    • Intermediate disturbance cycles a system between stages of succession
  • Stable Plant Matrices
  • Why Manage a Forest?
    • Break down in regulatory processes
      • Loss of apex predators
      • Loss of disturbance regime
    • Introduction of stressors
      • Air pollution
      • Invasive species
    • Human decisions
      • Increase bio-diversity
      • Loss of habitat type
  • Forest Management Objectives
  • Harvest as Disturbance
  • Harvest as Disturbance
  • Harvest as Disturbance
  • A Word About Fire.
    • In order to spread, fire needs a continuous fuel bed. Managing fire is about managing fuel continuity .
  • Urban Trees
  • Threats to the Forest
  • Regulation
    • If the deer eat more than NPP, the population expands and increases N2P; which causes wolf population to expand and eat more deer; deer population declines, plants expand, wolves starve. It is a dynamic equilibrium.
  • Missing Apex Predators
    • Deer population is now controlled by starvation.
    • Deer consume all available energy on forest floor and lower shrub layer.
    • As death and growth remove plants from the shrub layer, it disappears without recruitment from the forest floor
  • EFFECT of Missing Shrub Layer
    • Loss of diversity in song birds
    • Loss of diversity in small mammals
      • Increased human disease
    • Loss of stormwater management
    • Loss of air quality
    • Loss of carbon sink
    • Loss of forest health
  • Deer and Invasive Plants
    • Deer and other native herbivores prefer native plants
    • Excessive browse on natives can create a vacuum into which non-natives invade
  • Non-native Invasive Plants
    • Compete with forest plants for sun and sprouting space
    • Vines can kill mature trees
    • Are generally free from predation.
  • Citizen Action
    • Start at home
      • ASNV Wildlife Sanctuary
      • NWF Backyard Habitat
      • Develop a Layered Landscape with herbs, shrubs and trees in the same space
  • 2010
  • 2010
  • Citizen Action
    • Deer Management
      • Fairfax County Wildlife Biologist
      • FCPA Deer Pellet Program
      • Venison Stew
    • Invasive Plants
      • ACE Program
  • Recommended Reading Forests in Peril , Delcourt, 2002 McNaughton & Gunn 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, Charles C. Mann Collapse , Jared Diamond Positive Impact Forestry, Thom J. McEvoy, Island Press, 2004 Bringing Nature Home , Douglas Tallamy, Timber Press, 2007 Teaming With Microbes , Jeff Lowenfels and Wayne Lewis, Timber Press, 2010 (Revised)