Assessing and modeling standing deadwood attributes under alternative silvicultural regimes in the Acadian forest region of Maine, USA

Matthew B. Russell, Laura S. Kenefic, Aaron R. Weiskittel, Joshua J. Puhlick, John C. Brissette

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Estimating the amount of standing deadwood in forests is crucial for assessing wildlife habitat and determining carbon stocks. In this analysis, snags (standing dead trees) in various stages of decay were inventoried across eight silvicultural treatments in eastern spruce-fir forests in central Maine nearly 60 years after treatments were initiated. Several modeling strategies were developed to estimate number of snags per hectare in various stages of decay. An unmanaged reference area displayed the highest basal area and volume of snags (5.4 ± 3.1 m2·ha-1 and 29.4 ± 23.6 m3·ha-1, respectively, (mean standard deviation)), while the lowest basal area and volume (0.9 ± 1.0 m2·ha-1 and 3.1 ± 5.2 m3·ha-1) were observed in selection system with a 5-year cutting cycle. Models indicated that snag abundance was related to stand density, depth to water table, and the average harvest interval of the treatment. At a fixed stand density, approximately 140% more snags were predicted to occur in treatments with an average harvest interval of 55 compared with 5 years. An index of error reflecting the number of snags found in certain decay classes was reduced by 40% when predictions from count regression models fit with a mixed modeling strategy were used over ordinal regression. Results from these analyses can help to reduce the disparities between observed and modeled snag stocking levels and further our understanding of the relationships between live and standing dead trees inherent to eastern spruce-fir forests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1873-1883
Number of pages11
JournalCanadian Journal of Forest Research
Volume42
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2012

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