Landscape and local factors affecting northern white cedar (Thuja occidentalis) recruitment in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, Wisconsin (U.S.A.)

James D. Forester, Dean P. Anderson, Monica G. Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Northern white cedar (Thuja occidentalis L.) stands throughout the upper Midwestern United States have failed to recruit individuals to the canopy consistendy for several decades. To examine local and landscape factors that influence cedar regeneration we recorded the abundance of cedar seedlings and saplings in 24 lowland cedar stands in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, Wisconsin, during summer 2001. Cedar seedlings (height <22 cm) were common (median = 1800 ha-1), but the largest size class (height ≥100 cm) was extremely rare (∼1 ha-1) and heavily browsed. We used information-theoretic model averaging of linear mixed-effects models to identify local and landscape variables important for predicting the density of seedlings and saplings. The density of newly germinated seedlings was higher along transects farther from roads and with more mature cedar. Large seedling and small sapling densities were higher along transects with open canopies located in landscapes with a higher ratio of deciduous to coniferous forest. Increased edge-to-area ratios of cedar stands and edge density of the surrounding forest were associated with lower densities of large seedlings and small saplings, respectively. Results indicated a strong demographic effect with the density of large size classes being strongly dependent on the density of smaller size classes. Because the landscape factors considered are linked to browsing intensity, a reduction in deer (Odocoileus virginianus Zimmermann) density coupled with landscape-sensitive forest management may help to foster cedar regeneration in northern Wisconsin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)438-453
Number of pages16
JournalAmerican Midland Naturalist
Volume160
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2008

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Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest
Thuja occidentalis
seedling
sapling
saplings
seedlings
transect
regeneration
canopy
Midwestern United States
browsing
Odocoileus virginianus
coniferous forest
deer
forest management
coniferous forests
roads
lowlands
demographic statistics
linear models

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Landscape and local factors affecting northern white cedar (Thuja occidentalis) recruitment in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, Wisconsin (U.S.A.). / Forester, James D.; Anderson, Dean P.; Turner, Monica G.

In: American Midland Naturalist, Vol. 160, No. 2, 01.10.2008, p. 438-453.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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