Damage Diversity as a Metric of Structural Complexity after Forest Wind Disturbance
AbstractThis study presents a new metric for quantifying structural complexity using the diversity of tree damage types in forests that have experienced wind disturbance. Structural complexity studies of forests have to date not incorporated any protocol to address the variety of structural damage types experienced by trees in wind disturbances. This study describes and demonstrates such a protocol. Damage diversity, defined as the richness and evenness of types of tree damage, is calculated analogously to species diversity using two common indices, and termed a ‘Shannon Damage Heterogeneity Index’ (Sh-DHI) and an inverse Simpson Damage Heterogeneity Index (iSi-DHI). The two versions of the DHI are presented for >400 plots across 18 distinct wind disturbed forests of eastern North America. Relationships between DHI and pre-disturbance forest species diversity and size variability, as well as wind disturbance severity, calculated as the fraction of basal area downed in a wind disturbance event, are examined. DHIs are only weakly related to pre-disturbance tree species diversity, but are significantly positively related to pre-disturbance tree size inequality (size diversity). Damage diversity exhibits a robust curvilinear relationship to severity; both versions of the DHI show peaks at intermediate levels of wind disturbance severity, suggesting that in turn structural complexity may also peak at intermediate levels of severity. View Full-Text
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Peterson, C.J. Damage Diversity as a Metric of Structural Complexity after Forest Wind Disturbance. Forests 2019, 10, 85.
Peterson CJ. Damage Diversity as a Metric of Structural Complexity after Forest Wind Disturbance. Forests. 2019; 10(2):85.Chicago/Turabian Style
Peterson, Chris J. 2019. "Damage Diversity as a Metric of Structural Complexity after Forest Wind Disturbance." Forests 10, no. 2: 85.
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