Regional Distribution of Dynamics of Coarse Woody Debris in Midwestern Old Growth Forests
- Spetich, Martin A.
USDA Forest Service
- Shifley, Stephen R.
USDA Forest Service
- Parker, George R.
Dept. of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University
Old-growth forests have been noted for containing significant quantities of deadwood. However, there has been no coordinated effort to quantify the deadwood component of old growth remnant across large regions of temperate deciduous forest, We present results of a regional inventory that quantifies and examines regional and temporal trends for deadwood in upland old growth forest remnants within Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, and Iowa. From 1992 to 1994, down wood > 10 cm in diameter and standing trees >10cm dbh were inventoried on 328 one-tenth ha plots at 12 sites. the mean ratio among the sites by diameter class of the number of standing dead to standing live trees (dead/live ratio) ranged from 0.08 and 0.11 and was consistent for trees <65cm in diameter. The dead/live tree ratio was generally greater fro old growth than for mature second growth forests (70 to 90 yr old). mean volume of standing dead trees across all old growth sites was 21.4 m3/ha and down wood was 60.4 m3/ha. However, both standing and down wood volume (total deadwood) increased along a regional gradient of increasing productivity from southwest Missouri to northeast Indiana and also increased with increasing age of dominant and co dominant trees. Old-growth forests on high productivity sites averaged more pieces/ha of down wood in all diameter classes and higher volume/ha of down wood in nearly all diameter classes than did old growth forests on low productivity sites. A chronosequence of forests from 10 yr to more than 200 yr since stand establishment indicated a sharply declining down volume from age 10 to 70 yr followed by increasing volume between 80 and 200 yr. For. Sci. 45 (2): 302-313.
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