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Forests 2015, 6(9), 3177-3196; doi:10.3390/f6093177

Variability of Stand Structures and Development in Old-Growth Forests in the Pacific Northwest, USA

1
Department of Forest Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea
2
Yale University, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, New Haven, CT 06511, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Isabel Cañellas and Eric J. Jokela
Received: 15 July 2015 / Revised: 14 August 2015 / Accepted: 8 September 2015 / Published: 11 September 2015
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Abstract

The forest stand structure class “old-growth” has previously been qualitatively described as having several distinct “sub-structures.” Species composition, diameter distribution, and other structural features commonly associated with old-growth in the Pacific Northwest are quite variable. We determined which quantitative stand structure variables are commonly found together using the Spearman correlation and non-metric multidimensional analysis. Some features were more commonly found together than others, indicating different old-growth stand types, or sub-structures. Cluster analysis classified the old-growth forests into four groups: Douglas-fir dominance, shade tolerant species dominance, and intermediate groups. The intermediate groups were split by the density of large logs and large shade tolerant trees. The old-growth sub-structures appear to change from one to another as the old forest develops. View Full-Text
Keywords: species composition; diameter distribution; cluster analysis; correlation; Douglas-fir; shade tolerant species species composition; diameter distribution; cluster analysis; correlation; Douglas-fir; shade tolerant species
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Park, P.S.; Oliver, C.D. Variability of Stand Structures and Development in Old-Growth Forests in the Pacific Northwest, USA. Forests 2015, 6, 3177-3196.

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