Moderate-severity silvicultural methods generate better forest reorganization than other silvicultural methods in temperate rainforests four decades after implementation

Donoso, Pablo J.; Riquelme-Buitano, Tomas; Navarro, Celso; Soto, Daniel P.; 'Amato, Anthony W. D.

Abstract

Silvicultural regeneration methods promote regeneration of new tree cohorts following the harvest of mature trees and include a gradient of options from cutting all (clearcuts) or some (selection cuts) trees resulting in evenor uneven-aged forests. For forest managers and landowners, it is essential to have the best possible information on how forests reorganize following these different methods. Forest development, composition and growth are dependent on site quality and harvest type. In this study we evaluated two even-aged (clearcut (CC), seed-tree cut (STC)), one two-aged cut (extended irregular shelterwood (ISC)), one uneven-aged (single-tree selection cut (SC)), and an unmanaged control (CON), four decades after harvest implementation in old-growth Evergreen temperate rainforests above 500 m a.s.l. in the Coastal Range of south-central Chile. These forests grow on poorquality sites due to old and shallow soil conditions and were dominated by late-successional species and a thick understory with the bamboo Chusquea machrostachya at the time of harvest implementation. Compositional and structural conditions reflected the type of harvests, with even- and two-aged methods largely similar to one another and the SC and the OG having very similar characteristics, which is likely a consequence of the very light severity of the SC. Tree species composition in even-aged harvests was dominated by shade midtolerant species of high timber value, although short-lived pioneer species of the Proteaceae family were also abundant, especially in ISC. The ISC had the greatest homogeneity in all stand variables (tree density, basal area, volume, and quadratic stand diameter), and since it was a two-layered forest, had basal areas and volumes close to the SC and OG, and a rotated-sigmoid diameter distribution (different to all other treatments). Height of the new cohort in the ISC was significantly taller than in the CC and the STC for most species' groups, suggesting that the cut plus the residual canopy of ISC diminished the initial cover of the bamboo C. macrostachya and competition for regeneration. Only diameter growth of trees of all shade tolerances was lower in ISC, but diameter growth patterns were similar to CC and STC, with increasing growth during the first two-three decades followed by a decline. Based on these findings, we conclude that silvicultural methods of intermediate harvesting severity, especially ISC, provide the best ecological and economic option in these poor-quality sites given rapid reorganization following their implementation, while maintaining a relatively complex vertical structure, high tree species diversity, and a growing stock dominated by tree species of high timber value.

Más información

Título según WOS: ID WOS:001214357200001 Not found in local WOS DB
Título de la Revista: FOREST ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT
Volumen: 560
Editorial: Elsevier
Fecha de publicación: 2024
DOI:

10.1016/j.foreco.2024.121843

Notas: ISI