Jerry Franklin - Early seral forest: a diminishing resource?
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Jerry Franklin - Early seral forest: a diminishing resource?

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Jerry Franklin - Early seral forest: a diminishing resource?

Jerry Franklin - Early seral forest: a diminishing resource?

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Jerry Franklin - Early seral forest: a diminishing resource? Jerry Franklin - Early seral forest: a diminishing resource? Presentation Transcript

  • What is a “good” forest opening?
    • Is the future a concern?
  • Early Successional Communities
    • What is high quality early seral forest habitat?
    • How has it been created in the past?
    • Where will it be provided in the future?
    • What silvicultural tools can provide for this habitat?
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  • Well, let’s take a look at nature’s varieties of early successional communities on forested sites * Most notably, they are not dominated by trees!
  • Attributes of Early Successional Communities on Forest Sites Jerry F. Franklin and Mark Swanson University of Washington (jff@u.washington.edu)
  • Definition:
    • Early successional communities are the communities that occupy potentially forested sites between the time of a stand-replacement disturbance and re-establishment of a closed forest canopy
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  • Early Successional Communities
    • Altered (non-forest-dominated) microclimate
    • Structurally rich (with most natural disturbances)
    • Biodiversity rich
    • Process rich (alterations in ecosystem functions)
  • Altered microclimate:
    • Not dominated by trees!
    • Sunny, greater microclimate extremes
    • Heterogeneity
    • Terrestrial (non-tree) and aquatic ecosystems “bloom”
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  • Structurally rich:
    • Wood legacies (snags & logs)
      • Habitat
      • Long-term energy/nutrient source
      • Physical interactions
      • PERSISTS & ONLY SOURCE of CWD for MANY DECADES
    • Diversity and balance (evenness) in plant life forms
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  • Biologically rich:
    • Most biodiverse of forest stages
    • Diversity composed of
      • Legacy species
      • Opportunists (weeds?)
      • Habitat specialists
      • Predators (land & water)
    • Adapted, native tree genotypes
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  • Black-backed woodpecker. Photo: Dr. R. Hutto
  • Three-toed woodpecker. Photo: Dr. R. Hutto
  • Mountain Bluebird. Photo: Dr. R. Hutto
  • Olive-sided Flycatcher. Photo: Dr. R. Hutto
  • Western meadowlark. Photo: Dr. R. Hutto
  • White-crowned sparrow. Photo: Dr. R. Hutto
  • Garter Snake. Photo: Dr. C. Crisafulli.
  • Process Alterations (Terrestrial):
    • Significant nitrogen fixation
    • Accelerated nutrient cycling
    • Diversity in primary productivity
      • More complex food webs
      • Increased herbivory
    • Effects on hydrologic cycle
      • Often, increased flows
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  • Process Alterations (Aquatic):
    • Significant primary productivity
    • More diverse allochthonous inputs
    • Richer food webs
    • Greater fish production
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  • Other Attributes of ESFCs:
    • Duration – highly variable depending upon disturbance size, type, and chance
      • Example short: small windthrow
      • Example long: large or repeated wildfire or fire on severe site
    • Heterogeneity – initial & developmental
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  • Ecological Importance of ESFCs
    • Opportunity for organisms and processes absent/poorly represented under closed forest
    • Opportunity for nutrient recharge
    • Regional and local hotspots of biological diversity (source areas)
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  • So, what is high quality early successional habitat?
    • Early successional communities with a large array of structural and organismal legacies and
    • Exhibiting heterogeneity in space and time and
    • Diverse in life forms, food webs, and ecosystem processes
  • Does the job!
    • Provides for the richness of
    • Biodiversity
    • Functional diversity
    • That we want to sustain in our forest landscapes
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  • How has it been created in the past?
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  • How (where) will it be provided for in the future?
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  • What management tools can provide for this habitat?
  • Best management tool for early successional habitat: CONSERVE IT WHEN AND WHERE NATURE CREATES IT
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  • Naturally-regenerated ESFCs are likely to be more resilient under climate change due to - greater species diversity - tree genotypes selected by nature (i.e., environmental stresses)
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  • Pacific Tree Frog. Photo: Dr. C. Crisafulli.
  • What is a “good” forest opening?
    • Is the future a concern?
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  • Where management goals are primarily oriented toward characteristic biodiversity and ecological processes,“hurrying” ecosystem development through the pre-canopy closure stage is not appropriate
  • Salvage:
    • WILL eliminate key structural legacies
      • Key habitat and substrate, so many secondary effects on biota
      • This is a LONG TERM impact, since no new CWD for many decades
    • WILL destroy/damage recovering vegetation
    • MAY cause damage to aquatic ecosystems and and soils
  • Salvage logging never contributes directly to ecological recovery Salvage logging is always a tax on ecological recovery; the tax may be large or small
  • Reforestation will usually:
    • Reduce the duration of ESFCs
    • Reduce heterogeneity of the process by which closed forest canopy is re-established
    • Alter genotype of planted species (less selection by environment)
    • Homogenize composition of forest
  • Potential negative management
    • Early SFCs need full compliment of biological legacies to fully function
    • Salvage will reduce functionality
    • Reforestation will truncate & modify ESFCs
    • Naturally-regenerated ESFCs are more likely to be resilient to climate change (more diverse, good genotypes)
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  • Blue Grouse. Photo: Dr. C. Crisafulli.
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  • Principle 3: Conservation of biological legacies is critical for postfire reestablishment of characteristic levels of ecosystem processes & biodiversity
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  • Principle 5: Whatever activities are undertaken – seek to avoid causing additional harm and to enhance natural recovery processes!
  • BIOLOGICAL LEGACIES
    • Organisms and reproductive structures
    • Structures and organic matter
    • Organically-derived spatial patterns
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  • Salvage of dead wood
    • Done to capture socio-economic value
    • Has negative impacts on recovery
    • Removal of legacies is most profound long-term impact
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  • Timber salvage rarely, if ever, contributes directly to ecological recovery, including native biodiversity
  • Salvage is always a tax on ecological recovery! The tax may be large or small depending upon the salvage operation.
  • Importance of Coarse Wood
    • Habitat for species
    • Organic seedbeds (nurse logs)
    • Modification of microclimate
    • Protection of plants from ungulates
    • Sediment traps
    • Sources of energy & nutrients
    • Sites of N-fixation
    • Special source of soil organic matter
    • Structural elements of aquatic ecosystems
  • The early post-disturbance period of forest ecosystem development - pre-tree-canopy closure – is profoundly important!
  • Deer Mouse. Photo: Dr. C. Crisafulli.
  • Montane Shrew. Photo: Dr. C. Crisafulli.
  • Northern Pocket Gopher. Photo: Dr. C. Crisafulli.
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  • Where management goals are directed to sustaining ecosystem services and biodiversity, most postdisturbance “restoration” activities are inappropriate
  • MAJOR EXCEPTION: Human intercession may contribute ecologically where the disturbances are unique (uncharacteristic) in either intensity or frequency or invasive species are involved
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