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Forests 2019, 10(2), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10020111

Herbaceous Vegetation Responses to Gap Size within Natural Disturbance-Based Silvicultural Systems in Northeastern Minnesota, USA

1
Department of Forest Resources, University of Minnesota, St., Paul, MN 55108, USA
2
Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 December 2018 / Revised: 24 January 2019 / Accepted: 24 January 2019 / Published: 30 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Causes and Consequences of Species Diversity in Forest Ecosystems)
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Abstract

The use of silvicultural systems that emulate aspects of natural disturbance regimes, including natural disturbance severities and scales, has been advocated as a strategy for restoring and conserving forest biodiversity in forests managed for wood products. Nonetheless, key information gaps remain regarding the impacts of these approaches on a wide range of taxa, including understory plant species. We investigated the 6- or 7-year response of herbaceous vegetation to natural disturbance-based silvicultural harvest gaps in a northern hardwood forest in Northeastern Minnesota. These results indicate that harvest gaps are effective in conserving understory plant diversity by promoting conditions necessary for disturbance-dependent understory plant species. However, harvest gaps also contained non-native invasive plant species. View Full-Text
Keywords: understory plant communities; natural disturbance-based silviculture; forest management; species conservation; northern hardwood forests understory plant communities; natural disturbance-based silviculture; forest management; species conservation; northern hardwood forests
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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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Bolton, N.W.; D’Amato, A.W. Herbaceous Vegetation Responses to Gap Size within Natural Disturbance-Based Silvicultural Systems in Northeastern Minnesota, USA. Forests 2019, 10, 111.

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