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Composition, complexity, and tree mortality in riparian forests in the central Western Cascades of Oregon

Forest Ecology and Management

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, , , , , and

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Abstract

Riparian forests contribute to the diversity and function of both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. To assess some of these contributions, we compared tree composition, stand complexity, and temporal patterns of tree mortality on permanent plots in seven mature and old-growth stands representing upland forests and forests along low- and mid-order streams in the Western Cascade Range of Oregon. We also assessed recruitment of large wood into stream channels due to tree mortality, both by direct measurement and by estimation from tree mortality and location data. Stands differed in composition due to both stream order and successional stage. Stands on mid-order streams had high abundance of hardwood trees and/or Thuja plicata. Stand complexity (variability in tree diameters, tree life-form diversity, and tree species diversity), was high in stands on mid-order streams and in the upland, old-growth stand. Tree mortality was exceptionally high in six of the seven stands in 1996, the year in which the largest flood during the study occurred. However, only in the one stand on an unconstrained reach of a mid-order stream was mortality primarily due to flooding. Estimated recruitment of wood was much higher from the stand on the unconstrained reach than from the other stands on mid-order streams, suggesting that unconstrained reaches may be important for efforts to maintain or restore large wood in streams.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Composition, complexity, and tree mortality in riparian forests in the central Western Cascades of Oregon
Series title:
Forest Ecology and Management
Volume
173
Issue:
1-3
Year Published:
2003
Language:
English
Contributing office(s):
Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center
Description:
p. 293-308
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Forest Ecology and Management
First page:
293
Last page:
308
Number of Pages:
16