- Briedis, Julia I.
University of Maine Graduate School
Downed wood and snags provide vital ecosystem values for wildlife, water quality, and nutrient cycling. There is concern, therefore, that the removal of such material for energy-wood may be detrimental to the forest. Currently in Maine a common method of energy-wood extraction is through the simultaneous removal of roundwood and energy-wood during whole-tree harvests. As the bioenergy industry expands, it will be important that we understand more about the quantities and characteristics of this deadwood material remaining in the forest following such harvests. Twelve integrated roundwood and energy-wood whole-tree harvested sites were inventoried for downed wood, snags, and residual trees during the summer of 2008. The average volume of downed wood across all sites was 726 + 57 ft3/ac (mean + SE), 47% of which was residue generated by the harvest. Coarse woody debris between 3 and 6 inches in diameter at the large end dominated the post-harvest debris, with an average of 282+25 logs/ac. The majority of harvest-generated downed wood was in decay class 1, while pre-harvest debris consisted of mostly decay classes 2, 3, and 4. These results indicate that, contrary to common belief; there is a substantial volume of downed wood left on-site following integrated roundwood and energy-wood whole-tree, partial harvests.