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Forests 2017, 8(4), 131; doi:10.3390/f8040131

Red Alder-Conifer Stands in Alaska: An Example of Mixed Species Management to Enhance Structural and Biological Complexity

USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, 620 SW Main Street, Portland, OR 97205, USA
School for Forest Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Box 43, 739 21 Skinnskatteberg, Sweden
USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, 11175 Auke Lake Way, Juneau, AK 99801, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Timothy A. Martin
Received: 30 January 2017 / Revised: 10 April 2017 / Accepted: 14 April 2017 / Published: 21 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dynamics and Management of Boreal Forests)
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There is worldwide interest in managing forests to improve biodiversity, enhance ecosystem services and assure long-term sustainability of forest resources. An increasingly important goal of forest management is to increase stand diversity and improve wildlife and aquatic habitat. Well-planned silvicultural systems containing a mixture of broadleaf-conifer species have potential to enhance stand diversity and provide other ecosystem services earlier than typical even-aged conifer plantations. Here, we use the example of mixed Sitka spruce/western hemlock and red alder in young, managed stands in southeast Alaska to achieve these goals. We briefly describe the silvics of Sitka spruce, western hemlock and red alder plantations as pure conifer stands or pure broadleaf stands. Then, we synthesize studies of mixed red alder-Sitka spruce/western hemlock stands in southeast Alaska and present their potential for improving stand structural complexity, biodiversity and other ecosystem services over pure conifer forests. Finally, we discuss some of the opportunities and potential tradeoffs for managing mixed broadleaf-conifer stands for providing a number of natural resources and the influence of these broadleaf-conifer forests on ecosystem linkages and processes. View Full-Text
Keywords: conifer plantations; broadleaf-conifer stands; ecosystem services; forest management; Alaska conifer plantations; broadleaf-conifer stands; ecosystem services; forest management; Alaska

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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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Deal, R.L.; Orlikowska, E.H.; D’Amore, D.V.; Hennon, P.E. Red Alder-Conifer Stands in Alaska: An Example of Mixed Species Management to Enhance Structural and Biological Complexity. Forests 2017, 8, 131.

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