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Forests 2017, 8(4), 128; doi:10.3390/f8040128

Long-Term Susceptibility of Even- and Uneven-Aged Northern Hardwood Stands to Partial Windthrow

1
Institut des Sciences de la Forêt tempérée (ISFORT), Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO), Ripon, QC J0V 1V0, Canada
2
École de foresterie, Université de Moncton, campus d’Edmundston, Edmundston, NB E3V 2S8, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Phillip G. Comeau and Timothy A. Martin
Received: 23 February 2017 / Revised: 3 April 2017 / Accepted: 18 April 2017 / Published: 20 April 2017
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Abstract

While uneven-aged silviculture may appear preferable to even-aged silviculture in terms of stand susceptibility to windthrow (major wind damage), the scientific evidence is equivocal on this issue, because the two systems do not operate over the same time frame. The goal of this study was to evaluate the windthrow susceptibility of even- and uneven-aged stands over a 100-year period. Susceptibility to windthrow of North American hardwood stands was evaluated by coupling a stand growth model (Forest Vegetation Simulator, or FVS) to stem windthrow probability equations from the literature. This coupling was straightforward given that FVS provides the diameter at breast height (DBH) of each tree within a stand over the simulation period. Windthrow susceptibility equations also use DBH to calculate stem windthrow probability. Our results show that average loss due to windthrow under uneven-aged management can be twice that observed under even-aged management at moderate wind severity for sugar maple-dominated stands. This result should be interpreted with caution because of the impossibility in our simulations of considering differences in tree form development between the two approaches. Nevertheless, this study clearly shows that even-/uneven-aged silviculture comparisons should be made on a long-term basis since uneven-aged stands are continuously susceptible to windthrow, while even-aged stands tend to be little affected by windthrow in their early developmental stages. View Full-Text
Keywords: windthrow susceptibility; uneven-aged silviculture; even-aged silviculture; tolerant hardwoods; stand scale windthrow susceptibility; uneven-aged silviculture; even-aged silviculture; tolerant hardwoods; stand scale
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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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Nolet, P.; Béland, M. Long-Term Susceptibility of Even- and Uneven-Aged Northern Hardwood Stands to Partial Windthrow. Forests 2017, 8, 128.

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