An individual-based growth and competition model for coastal redwood forest restoration

Canadian Journal of Forest Research
By:  and 

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Abstract

Thinning treatments to accelerate coastal redwood forest stand development are in wide application, but managers have yet to identify prescriptions that might best promote Sequoia sempervirens (Lamb. ex D. Don) Endl. (redwood) growth. The creation of successful thinning prescriptions would be aided by identifying the underlying mechanisms governing how individual tree growth responds to competitive environments in coastal redwood forests. We created a spatially explicit individual-based model of tree competition and growth parameterized using surveys of upland redwood forests at Redwood National Park, California. We modeled competition for overstory trees (stems ≥ 20 cm stem diameter at breast height, 1.37 m (dbh)) as growth reductions arising from sizes, distances, and species identity of competitor trees. Our model explained up to half of the variation in individual tree growth, suggesting that neighborhood crowding is an important determinant of growth in this forest type. We used our model to simulate the effects of novel thinning prescriptions (e.g., 40% stand basal area removal) for redwood forest restoration, concluding that these treatments could lead to substantial growth releases, particularly for S. sempervirens. The results of this study, along with continued improvements to our model, will help to determine spacing and species composition that best encourage growth.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title An individual-based growth and competition model for coastal redwood forest restoration
Series title Canadian Journal of Forest Research
DOI 10.1139/cjfr-2014-0143
Volume 44
Issue 9
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher NRC Research Press
Contributing office(s) Western Ecological Research Center
Description 7 p.
First page 1051
Last page 1057
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N