Event Website

http://www.nafew2009.org/

Start Date

23-6-2009 1:30 PM

End Date

23-6-2009 1:50 PM

Description

Interest in group selection harvesting has increased in recent years because of limitations associated with both clearcutting and single-tree selection. Field data have suggested that group selection openings can have higher production rates than single-tree gaps, but whether this translates into higher production rates at the stand level is not clear. We used CANOPY, a crown-based northern hardwoods model calibrated with data from uneven-aged and even-aged stands, to simulate sustainable harvest volumes of a number of different group selection approaches over 300 years, and also compared results with those from single-tree selection and clearcutting. When a combination of single-tree and group selection was used with groups making up 3% of the stand area per cutting cycle, net harvestable production rates were similar to those of single-tree selection, and opening size (100-4000m2) had little effect on production rates. As the percentage of the matrix in groups increased from 1 to 9% per cutting cycle, production actually showed a small but consistent decline of about 6 to 7%. When group selection was used alone with no cutting between the groups, production rates varied considerably depending on opening size and rotation age. Small group selection (200 m2) had production rates similar to or slightly higher than single-tree selection, whereas 2000 m2 openings resulted in a production declines of 30 to 35%. Large patch sizes appear to have relatively low net production because of unsalvaged mortality. Similar trends were observed in unthinned even-aged stands compared to those thinned at 15-yr intervals. Although our results confirmed that trees in even-aged stands are more efficient producers than those in uneven-aged stands, there appear to be countervailing tendencies that reduce production rates in large single-cohort patches, including a lag time during the first few decades when production rates of merchantable volume in large openings are very low.

 
Jun 23rd, 1:30 PM Jun 23rd, 1:50 PM

Long-Term Effects of Alternative Group Selection Harvesting Designs on Stand Production

Interest in group selection harvesting has increased in recent years because of limitations associated with both clearcutting and single-tree selection. Field data have suggested that group selection openings can have higher production rates than single-tree gaps, but whether this translates into higher production rates at the stand level is not clear. We used CANOPY, a crown-based northern hardwoods model calibrated with data from uneven-aged and even-aged stands, to simulate sustainable harvest volumes of a number of different group selection approaches over 300 years, and also compared results with those from single-tree selection and clearcutting. When a combination of single-tree and group selection was used with groups making up 3% of the stand area per cutting cycle, net harvestable production rates were similar to those of single-tree selection, and opening size (100-4000m2) had little effect on production rates. As the percentage of the matrix in groups increased from 1 to 9% per cutting cycle, production actually showed a small but consistent decline of about 6 to 7%. When group selection was used alone with no cutting between the groups, production rates varied considerably depending on opening size and rotation age. Small group selection (200 m2) had production rates similar to or slightly higher than single-tree selection, whereas 2000 m2 openings resulted in a production declines of 30 to 35%. Large patch sizes appear to have relatively low net production because of unsalvaged mortality. Similar trends were observed in unthinned even-aged stands compared to those thinned at 15-yr intervals. Although our results confirmed that trees in even-aged stands are more efficient producers than those in uneven-aged stands, there appear to be countervailing tendencies that reduce production rates in large single-cohort patches, including a lag time during the first few decades when production rates of merchantable volume in large openings are very low.

http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/nafecology/sessions/silviculture/4