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Forests 2013, 4(2), 455-470; doi:10.3390/f4020455
Article

Modeling Young Stand Development towards the Old-Growth Reference Condition in Evergreen Mixed-Conifer Stands at Headwaters Forest Reserve, California

1,* , 1
,
2
 and
1
1 Department of Forestry and Wildland Resources, Humboldt State University, 1 Harpst Street, Arcata, CA 95521, USA 2 Headwaters Forest Reserve, US Bureau of Land Management, 1695 Heindon Road, Arcata, CA 95521, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 May 2013 / Revised: 8 June 2013 / Accepted: 13 June 2013 / Published: 20 June 2013
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Abstract

We sought to answer the question: How do we restore characteristics of old-growth evergreen mixed-conifer forests in young even-aged stands on upland terrain at Headwaters Forest Reserve (HFR)? We described the old-growth reference condition for three stands at HFR. In each old-growth stand, trees within a 1-ha plot were inventoried. We found coast Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii) and tanoak (Notholithocarpus densiflorus) well represented while coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) dominated in terms of size. Numbers of understory and overstory trees ha−1 and average tree sizes were similar among sites, suggesting these were useful goals for restoration. Adjacent to each old-growth stand, we measured recent growth rates of second-growth trees and remnant old trees across a range of tree sizes, stand structures, and densities. The resultant growth models of redwood and Douglas-fir enabled us to project the development of precommercially thinned young stands at HFR forward in time under two silvicultural prescriptions: (i) no further management; and (ii) partial harvesting simulated before trees attained 30 cm dbh. The partial-harvesting prescription reduced stand density and set the young stand on a more rapid trajectory towards the reference condition found at HFR.
Keywords: coast redwood; Douglas-fir; forest restoration; precommercial thinning; Pseudotsuga menziesii; Sequoia sempervirens; stand density management coast redwood; Douglas-fir; forest restoration; precommercial thinning; Pseudotsuga menziesii; Sequoia sempervirens; stand density management
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).
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Berrill, J.-P.; Beal, C.B.; LaFever, D.H.; Dagley, C.M. Modeling Young Stand Development towards the Old-Growth Reference Condition in Evergreen Mixed-Conifer Stands at Headwaters Forest Reserve, California. Forests 2013, 4, 455-470.

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