In northern lower Michigan, logging accelerated sugar maple (Acer saccharum) dominance in a northern white cedar (Thuja occidentals) community, and clear-cutting and burning quickly converted certain sites dominated by mature jack pine (Pinus banksiana) to early-succesional hardwoods, including Prunus, Populus, and Quercus. In both forest types the succeeding hardwoods should continue to increase in the future at the expense of the pioneer conifer species. In the cedar example, sugar maple was also increasing a an undisturbed, old-growth stand, but at a much reduced rate than in the logged stand. Traditionally, disturbance was through to set back succession to some earlier stage. However, out study sites and at least several other North American forest communities exhibited accelerated succession following a wide range of disturbances, including logging fire, ice storms, wind-throw, disease, insect attack, and herbicide spraying.
Additional publication details
Disturbance-mediated accelerated succession in two Michigan forest types