Comparison of tree size structure and growth for partially harvested and even-aged hemlock-spruce stands in southeast Alaska

Robert L. Deal, Troy Heithecker, Eric Zenner

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8 Scopus citations

Abstract

The effects of partial cutting on tree size structure and stand growth were evaluated in 52 plots in 13 stands in southeast Alaska that were partially harvested 53-96 years ago and compared with 50-year-old even-aged stands that developed after clearcutting. The net basal-area growth was greater in the partially cut plots than in the uncut plots, and basal-area growth generally increased with increasing cutting intensity. However, the basal-area growth of all of the partially harvested stands was significantly less than the growth of 50-year-old even-aged stands, and net basal area growth over the 50 year period since partial harvesting was about 33-43% of the growth of the even-aged stands. Partial cutting maintained stand structures similar to uncut old-growth stands, and the cutting had no significant effect on tree species composition. The tree size distribution of the partially harvested stands was far more complex and well distributed in comparison with the 50-year-old even-aged stands, and included the presence of several trees with diameters of more than 100 cm. These trees included both large-diameter spruce and hemlock trees and were a distinctive structural feature that was noticeably lacking in the even-aged stands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-37
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Forest Research
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Forestry

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