Tracking 20 years of forest demographics in east Texas, USA, using national forest inventory data

Paul A. Klockow, Christopher B. Edgar, Grant M. Domke, Christopher W. Woodall, Matthew B. Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Forest resource reporting techniques primarily use the two most recent measurements for understanding forest change. Multiple remeasurements now exist within the US national forest inventory (NFI), providing an opportunity to examine long-term forest demographics. We leverage two decades of remeasurements to quantify live-dead wood demographics which can better inform estimates of resource changes in forest ecosystems. Our overall objective is to identify opportunities and gaps in tracking 20 years of forest demographics within the US NFI using east Texas as a pilot study region given its diversity of tree species, prevalence of managed conditions, frequency of disturbances, and relatively rapid change driven by a warm, humid climate. We examine growth and mortality rates, identify transitions to downed dead wood/litter and removal via harvest, and describe implications of these processes focusing on key species groups (i.e., loblolly pine, post oak, and water oak) and size classes (i.e., saplings, small and large trees). Growth and mortality rates fluctuated differently over time by species and stem sizes in response to large-scale disturbances, namely the 2011 drought in Texas. Tree-fall rates were highest in saplings and snag-fall rates trended higher in smaller trees. For removal rates, different stem sizes generally followed similar patterns within each species group. Forest demographics from the field-based US NFI are informative for identifying diffuse lagged mortality, species- and size-specific effects, and management effects. Moreover, researchers continually seek to employ ancillary data and develop new statistical methods to enhance understanding of forest resource changes from field-based inventories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1478
JournalEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the US; foreign copyright protection may apply.


  • Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA)
  • Forest resources
  • Long-term data
  • Snag-fall
  • Tree demography
  • Tree-fall

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


Dive into the research topics of 'Tracking 20 years of forest demographics in east Texas, USA, using national forest inventory data'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this