Understanding forest-regeneration pathways following salvage-logging operations and windthrow disturbances is a step towards the sustainable management of forests. To accomplish this, assessment of the relative contribution of seed dispersal and post-dispersal abiotic and biotic factors in shaping post-disturbance seedling recruitment is necessary. In a temperate deciduous forest located in western Pennsylvania, we measured the seed rain over 2 years and the resulting woody-plant recruitment in 2 tornado-disturbed stands. Our data shows that the salvage logging operation and the dispersal mode of plants (wind, animal) affected the composition of the seed rain. Communities of plant recruits, in contrast, were more strongly determined by soil-cover variables than by the net inputs of seed rain. Our results indicate that salvage logging following natural windthrow events has minimal negative impacts on forest regeneration capacity.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics