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  • Regeneration Following Clearcutting Study at Harvard Forest since 1991
  • O'Keefe, John
  • 2000
  • Measurements of regeneration following removal in 1990 of a 64-year old red pine plantation on the Prospect Hill tract were continued for the twelfth year in 2001. Browsing in 2001 remained at very low levels (less than 2% of stems). As mean tree height continues to increase both the amount of browsing and the impact of browsing on future stand characteristics should remain low. Overall, our observations show that browsing has had little long-term impact during the regeneration of this stand. White ash, the most heavily browsed species, remains the most common species in the plots. After remaining quite stable over the past five years, in 2001 the overall stem density of tree species declined to 17,883 stems/ha, compared with 19,464 stems/ha in 2000, 19,414 stems/ha in 1999, 19,958 stems/ha in 1998, 19,414 stems/ha in 1997, and 20,696 stems/ha in 1996. The relative importance of major species has remained the same over the past six years. In 2001, white ash (36.5%) remained the most numerous tree species, followed by red maple (26.9%), sugar maple (14.4%) and black cherry (9.4%). These percentages changed little from 2000. After a slight decrease in 2000, red oak increased slightly to 7.5% of tree stems in 2001, the majority of which were small seedlings. Overall, the percentage of stems that originated as seedlings rather than sprouts decreased to 19.3%, down from 23.1% in 2000, 23.4% in 1999, 25.4% in 1998, and 23.7% in 1997. The majority of these seedlings (55.7%) were white ash, most less than 0.5 m tall. Mean stem height rose to 3.46 m, compared to 3.20 m in 2000, 3.24 m in 1999, 3.01 m in 1998, 2.92 m in 1997, 2.87 m in 1996 and 2.67 m in 1995. The resumption in mean height growth over the past year probably reflects low seedling establishment and mortality of seedlings and young sprouts less than 0.5 m tall along with continued growth of the taller stems. The tallest stems were 20 white ash, 15 red maples, 15 sugar maples, 6 black cherries, 5 pin cherries, 3 paper birches, and 1 trembling aspen greater than 7 m tall. Diameter at breast height (dbh) is now being recorded for all stems taller than seven meters. Of the five most common species, sugar maple had the tallest mean height (4.75 m), followed by red maple (3.98 m), black cherry (3.69m), and white ash (2.99 m). Because of the preponderance of small seedlings, red oak mean height was only 0.67 m. It remains to be seen how many seedlings will survive to play a role in the developing stand. Our next sampling will be done in year 15.
  • N: 42.53178      S: 42.53178      E: -72.18676      W: -72.18676
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  • doi:10.6073/pasta/82bcf1271382d2dfccfe5d34475af102
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