Canadian Forest Service Publications

Comparing structural attributes in uneven-aged managed and unmanaged sugar maple stands. Gauthier, M. M., Bédard, S., & Guillemette, F. (2018). Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research, 92(1), 62-72.

Year: 2018

Issued by: National Capital Region

Catalog ID: 40284

Language: English

Availability: PDF (download)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1093/forestry/cpy031

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Abstract

We used 11 silvicultural trials in forests dominated by sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.) to compare the development of structural attributes between unmanaged stands and stands subjected to two selection cuttings. Results showed that managed stands had significantly lower amounts of large live and dead trees, lower downed coarse woody debris (CWD) volume and lower density of large trees with wildlife cavities compared to unmanaged stands. Despite these differences, both managed and unmanaged stands had sufficient amounts of large trees and large trees with wildlife cavities to maintain excavator bird habitat based on minimum target guidelines from the literature. In both managed and unmanaged stands, minimum target guidelines to emulate old-growth conditions were not met: at least 30 live trees ha−1 >49.0 cm in diameter at breast height, and at least 11m3 ha−1 of downed CWD volume with large-end diameter >44.0 cm.We discuss management options to promote the development of structural attributes in managed, uneven-aged sugar maple stands.

Plain Language Summary

This study consisted of 11 trials in forests dominated sugar maple to compare the development of structural characteristics between unmanaged stands and stands with two selection cuttings. Results showed that managed stands had significantly lower amounts of large live and dead trees, lower amounts of woody debris and lower density of large trees with wildlife openings than unmanaged stands. Both managed and unmanaged stands had sufficient amounts of large trees and large trees with wildlife openings to maintain bird habitats. In both managed and unmanaged stands, minimum target guidelines to emulate old-growth conditions were not met. We discuss management options to promote the development of structural characteristics. These include options such as a zoning approach, selection cutting with a longer cutting cycle and other uneven-aged methods.