Canadian Forest Service Publications

Deadwood density of five boreal tree species in relation to field-assigned decay class. 2013. Seedre, M.; Taylor, A.R.; Chen, H.Y.H.; Jogiste, K. Forest Science 59: 253-260.

Year: 2013

Available from: Atlantic Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 35071

Language: English

CFS Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.5849/forsci.11-157

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Abstract

Aboveground deadwood, consisting of downed woody debris (DWD), snags, and stumps, is an important component of boreal forest ecosystem structure. Accurate deadwood density estimates are essential for evaluating ecosystem biomass and carbon stocks. The objective of this study was to examine the relationships between deadwood density, tree species, and decay status, identified in the field by morphological characteristics. We sampled DWD, snags, and stumps of trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.), paper birch (Betula papyrifera Marsh.), jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.), black spruce (Picea mariana [Mill.] B.S.P.), and balsam fir (Abies balsamea [L.] Mill.) in the boreal forest of central Canada. A total of 240 samples (99 DWD, 94 snags, and 47 stumps) were collected. Decay class and tree species explained >80% of the variation in wood density of all deadwood types. Wood density decreased consistently from the lowest to the highest decay class. Tree species identity was also important in determining the relationships between wood density and field-assigned decay class for snags and stumps, but not for DWD, probably because of the five-class system used for DWD, rather than the three-class system used for snags and stumps. These results indicate that decay class and tree species are adequate predictors of deadwood density.

Plain Language Summary

Aboveground dead wood, consisting of downed woody debris (DWD), snags, and stumps, is an important component of boreal forest ecosystem structure. Accurate dead wood density estimates are essential for evaluating ecosystem biomass and carbon stocks. The objective of this study was to examine the relationships among dead wood density, tree species, and decay status, identified in the field by morphological characteristics. We sampled DWD, snags, and stumps of trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.), paper birch (Betula papyrifera Marsh.), jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.), black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) B.S.P.), and balsam fir (Abies balsamea (L.) Mill.) in the boreal forest of central Canada. A total of 240 samples (99 DWD, 94 snags, and 47 stumps) were collected. Decay class and tree species explained >80% of variation in wood density of all dead wood types. Wood density decreased consistently from the lowest to highest decay class. Tree species identity was also important in determining the relationships between wood density and field assigned decay class for snags and stumps, but not for downed woody debris, probably due to a five-class system used for downed woody debris, but a three-class system used for snags and stumps. These results indicate that decay class and tree species are adequate predictors of dead wood density.

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