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Grow With The Changes:
Forest Succession And Woody Debris
Building on data from Marty Acker (2004), Matt Vadeboncoeur (2006)
to quantify the stock of downed dead wood in forest stands of different ages
Joe Nash
Graduate Student
SUNY ESF - Syracuse, NY
13 chronosequence stands (5 in BEF, 1 in HBEF, 7 in surrounding WMNF)
Ages: 31-145 years old
Soils: Spodosols derived from granitic glacial till
Coarse Woody Debris (CWD): Diameter ≥3.0cm
Size Classes:
3.0-7.6cm
≥7.6cm
Inventoried on cluster of three 25m transects
using line intersect sampling.
Fine Woody Debris (FWD): Diameter <3.0cm
Size Classes:
<7.5mm
7.5-16mm
16-30mm
Inventoried from 4m2 nested
subplots in stratified random design.
CWD Sampling Design
Forest management influences canopy dominance and forest composition,
ultimately responsible for inputs of downed dead wood.
Primary Objective: Distinguish characteristics of woody debris
corresponding to successional stages in northern hardwood stands
Data from Marty Acker (2004)
Fine woody debris is an ecologically important, yet understudied component
of forest carbon and nutrient cycles.
Data from Matt Vadeboncoeur (2006)
Hypothesis: FWD increases dramatically from ~16-35 years, when it becomes
relatively stable
Data from Marty Acker (2004)
Proportion of downed dead wood by:
Species
Proportion of downed dead wood by:
Decay Class
Data from Marty Acker (2004)
*Residual Debris
● Dead wood reflective of previous overstory
● Decay resistant conifers
● High states of decomposition as a result of long periods of
exposure on the forest floor
<24 years old
Early-Successional
● Pioneer species (pin cherry, birch, aspen) succumb to self-
thinning as competition for light and nutrients increases
● Frequent input of woody debris
~24-45 years old
Mid-Successional
● Diverse mix of hardwood species found as downed dead
wood
● Natural disturbances such as windthrow produce large
inputs in some areas
>45 years old
Old-Growth?
● Large volume of debris
● Stable input consisting of larger logs
● Logs as large as largest living trees
● Higher states of decay as a result of advanced
decomposition prior to falling to forest floor
>130 years old
Coarse woody debris larger than 40cm diameter, or biomass of downed wood ~82-125m3/ha
(Hura and Crow 2004; Gore and Patterson 1985).
Matt Vadeboncoeur
Marty Acker
Mary Arthur
Ruth Yanai
Tony Federer
Chris Costello
U.S Forest Service
The MELNHE Project is funded by USDA NIFA (2019-
67019-29464) and NSF (DEB-1637685) . For more
information, please visit www.esf.edu/melnhe
Acknowledgments

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Grow With Changes: Woody Debris & Forest Succession

  • 1. Grow With The Changes: Forest Succession And Woody Debris Building on data from Marty Acker (2004), Matt Vadeboncoeur (2006) to quantify the stock of downed dead wood in forest stands of different ages Joe Nash Graduate Student SUNY ESF - Syracuse, NY
  • 2. 13 chronosequence stands (5 in BEF, 1 in HBEF, 7 in surrounding WMNF) Ages: 31-145 years old Soils: Spodosols derived from granitic glacial till
  • 3. Coarse Woody Debris (CWD): Diameter ≥3.0cm Size Classes: 3.0-7.6cm ≥7.6cm Inventoried on cluster of three 25m transects using line intersect sampling. Fine Woody Debris (FWD): Diameter <3.0cm Size Classes: <7.5mm 7.5-16mm 16-30mm Inventoried from 4m2 nested subplots in stratified random design. CWD Sampling Design
  • 4. Forest management influences canopy dominance and forest composition, ultimately responsible for inputs of downed dead wood. Primary Objective: Distinguish characteristics of woody debris corresponding to successional stages in northern hardwood stands Data from Marty Acker (2004)
  • 5. Fine woody debris is an ecologically important, yet understudied component of forest carbon and nutrient cycles. Data from Matt Vadeboncoeur (2006) Hypothesis: FWD increases dramatically from ~16-35 years, when it becomes relatively stable
  • 6. Data from Marty Acker (2004) Proportion of downed dead wood by: Species
  • 7. Proportion of downed dead wood by: Decay Class Data from Marty Acker (2004)
  • 8. *Residual Debris ● Dead wood reflective of previous overstory ● Decay resistant conifers ● High states of decomposition as a result of long periods of exposure on the forest floor <24 years old
  • 9. Early-Successional ● Pioneer species (pin cherry, birch, aspen) succumb to self- thinning as competition for light and nutrients increases ● Frequent input of woody debris ~24-45 years old
  • 10. Mid-Successional ● Diverse mix of hardwood species found as downed dead wood ● Natural disturbances such as windthrow produce large inputs in some areas >45 years old
  • 11. Old-Growth? ● Large volume of debris ● Stable input consisting of larger logs ● Logs as large as largest living trees ● Higher states of decay as a result of advanced decomposition prior to falling to forest floor >130 years old Coarse woody debris larger than 40cm diameter, or biomass of downed wood ~82-125m3/ha (Hura and Crow 2004; Gore and Patterson 1985).
  • 12. Matt Vadeboncoeur Marty Acker Mary Arthur Ruth Yanai Tony Federer Chris Costello U.S Forest Service The MELNHE Project is funded by USDA NIFA (2019- 67019-29464) and NSF (DEB-1637685) . For more information, please visit www.esf.edu/melnhe Acknowledgments