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Forests 2017, 8(8), 284; doi:10.3390/f8080284

Incorporating Intermediate-Severity Disturbances in Oak Stand Development

1
Department of Geography, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487, USA
2
Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 July 2017 / Revised: 25 July 2017 / Accepted: 3 August 2017 / Published: 5 August 2017
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Abstract

We propose a conceptual framework for the development of closed canopy oak (Quercus) stands that incorporates the influence of intermediate-severity canopy disturbance events, provides for the possibility of multiple developmental pathways, and does not narrowly define an endpoint given the stochastic nature of natural disturbances. The proposed model differs from the current oak stand development model in three primary ways. First, our proposed model acknowledges more than one mixed stage of development after an intermediate-severity disturbance based on the pre-disturbance condition and disturbance agent. Second, we suggest that these discrete mixed stages may progress in their development along different pathways and stands may be structurally dissimilar when they reach the complex stage. Third, we contend that the complex stage of development in oak stands is not usually achieved in the absence of the mixed stage because the return interval of these events is shorter than the period required for oak stands to reach the complex developmental stage via gap-phase processes alone. Our proposed framework for oak stand development should aid decision making in oak-dominated systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: disturbance; oak (Quercus); stand development; structure disturbance; oak (Quercus); stand development; structure
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Hart, J.L.; Cox, L.E. Incorporating Intermediate-Severity Disturbances in Oak Stand Development. Forests 2017, 8, 284.

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