“Science affects the way we think together.”
GROWING TREES WHERE TREES GROW BEST: SHORT-TERM RESEARCH SHEDS LIGHT
ON LONG-TERM PRODUCTIVITY
IN S U MM A R Y
In 1999, the Fall River Long-Term Site Productivity study began in
coastal Washington to investigate how intensive management practices
affect soil processes and forest productivity. By comparing
conventional harvests to more intensive wood removal treatments,
researchers are answering long-standing questions about how residual
organic matter influences future growth. Also, by using herbicides to
control competing vegetation, they are quantifying the influence other
vegetation has on tree growth. Finally, they are measuring soil
properties and tree growth on plots where the soil was not compacted
during harvest and comparing results to those on plots that were
either compacted by logging equipment or compacted and subsequently
tilled to restore physical properties.
Several interesting findings have emerged after 8 years of
measurements: Nitrogen pools in these soils are so high that
conventional clearcutting and whole-tree plus coarse-woody-debris
removal only reduced the total site nitrogen pool by 3 percent and 6
percent, respectively. That’s a very small percentage reduction that
is unlikely to affect long-term productivity. Vegetation control
reduced competition for water during the dry growing season and
doubled above-ground tree biomass at age 5 compared to the plots where
vegetation was not controlled. Soil compaction did not reduce tree
growth. These findings suggest that this site is very resilient to
intensive forest management.
Full article download here http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/sciencef/scifi107.pdf
After a long hiatus from alt.forestry, I have returned from lurking.
It's great to get new science that supports active management of our
forests. Unfortunately, Americans just don't want to talk about
forests, preferring to be "inverse dittoheads" and spouting the
preservationist rhetoric of "re-wilding" and "free range fire" of our
western forests. They will say that the study is slanted and a product
of the Bush Machine. Too bad that they have been united with the Bush
Administration in burning our forests down, for different reasons, of
There's another fascinating study out there on the Biscuit Fire that
quantifies actual soil LOSS due to catastrophic wildfire. An entire
inch of topsoil is missing from a study plot that was in place before
the fire. Exactly half of the plot was burned. Also, soil carbon and
nitrogen were studied and losses were recorded deep into the ground
from the estimated 1400 degree temperatures that melted aluminum tags
in the plot.
I'm busy this morning but, I'll post more when I get some time.
I posted that on the Gristmill website and they blew it off as
nothing, clinging to the preservationist agenda. "Interesting" that an
eco-website ignores forest problems and massive CO2 emissions while
radically pushing for carbon caps and taxes on humans.