Navigation Links
Study reveals that logging debris suppresses development of an invasive competitor, Scotch broom
Date:4/2/2010

PORTLAND, Ore. April 2, 2010. Countless studies and reports exist describing how a landscape is impacted after logging Douglas-fir: What is the impact on the soil? Should one leave the debris in place? Pile it? Burn it or haul it offsite in preparation for replanting the area in the future?

However, few studies have examined this hypothesis: Is it possible, that the debris remaining on the ground after logging may actually suppress competing vegetation resulting in a positive effect on the survival of Douglas-fir seedlings?

At a variety of clearcut sites, research forester Tim Harrington, noticed that plant invaders were sparse when the debris was left behind. He also began to reason that the method of dealing with debris might indirectly affect the survival and growth of conifer seedlings by way of its impact on vegetation that managers may consider a nuisance.

Harrington and Virginia Tech professor, Stephen Schoenholtz, conducted two studies to quantify the effects of different levels of logging debris on the productivity of Douglas-fir. These experiments compared the effects of dispersing, piling, and removing logging debris on the 5-year survival and growth of planted Douglas-fir seedlings at logging sites near Matlock, Washington, and Molalla, Oregon.

"I found that Scotch broom was the key woody competitor at the first location," Harrington says,"and blackberry was rampant at the second." Three treatments were tested at each site: Only harvested logs were removed, leaving branches and treetops; aboveground portions of entire trees were removed; or logs were taken and branches and tops were piled at the site. "By the second or third year of the research, the amount of terrain covered by the key invasive (Scotch broom or blackberry) was much greater where debris had been piled or removed," Harrington explains, adding that as broom cover at the Matlock site increased to 40 percent, Douglas-fir seedling survival decreased by 30 percent. At the Molalla site, stem growth of the young trees decreased by 30 percent as blackberry cover increased to 80 percent. Dispersed logging debris also suppressed development of other invasive plant species, including oxeye daisy and velvet grass.

Some of the other findings of the study include:

  • Debris decays, releases nutrients, adds to soil productivity.
  • Mineral soil is exposed when debris is piled or removed, allowing native plants to be squeezed out while invasive plants grow rapidly.
  • Removal of debris also removes a good source of carbon and nitrogen needed for forest productivity. The problem is especially severe on low-productivity sites having gravelly or sandy soils.
  • Leaving debris behind saves the cost of removal, but it may also increase short-term fire risk.

The study, Effects of logging debris treatments on five-year development of competing vegetation and planted Douglas-fir, appears in the recent issue of the Canadian Journal of Forest Research. The article is coauthored by Harrington and Schoenholtz. Harrington is a research forester at the Forest Service's Pacific Northwest Research Station, USDA Forest Service. He is based in Olympia, Washington. Schoenholtz is a professor in the College of Natural Resources at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia.


'/>"/>

Contact: Yasmeen Sands
ysands@fs.fed.us
360-753-7716
USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. NYSCF fellow lead author on study that derives floor plate tissue from embryonic stem cells
2. VARI study could improve treatments for prostate cancer
3. LSU researcher receives grant to study equine adult stem cells
4. Grocery shoppers who try harder to track costs do worse, study finds
5. Study uses Chinese wolfberries to improve vision imperfections caused by type-2 diabetes
6. Study shows compulsive eating shares addictive biochemical mechanism with cocaine, heroin abuse
7. Single gene dramatically boosts yield, sweetness in tomato hybrids, CSHL-Israeli study finds
8. Rochester study connects workplace turmoil, stress and obesity
9. Rodeo bull goes head-to-head with zoo dolphins in a study of balance
10. New study may explain how weight-loss surgery reverses type 2 diabetes
11. To close achievement gap, US must address major health risks for urban minority youth, study finds
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/5/2017)... KEY FINDINGS The global market for stem ... 25.76% during the forecast period of 2017-2025. The rise ... growth of the stem cell market. Download ... The global stem cell market is segmented on the ... cell market of the product is segmented into adult ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... March 30, 2017 Trends, opportunities and forecast ... behavioral), by technology (fingerprint, AFIS, iris recognition, facial recognition, ... others), by end use industry (government and law enforcement, ... and banking, and others), and by region ( ... Asia Pacific , and the Rest ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" report to their offering. ... The Global Biometric ... of around 15.1% over the next decade to reach approximately $1,580 ... market estimates and forecasts for all the given segments on global ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... The Blavatnik Family Foundation ... six Finalists of the 2017 Blavatnik Regional Awards for Young Scientists. Established ... administered by the New York Academy of Sciences to honor the excellence of ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... BioMedGPS announces ... addition of its newest module, US Hemostats & Sealants. , SmartTRAK’s US Market ... hemostats, fibrin sealants, synthetic sealants and biologic sealants used in surgical applications. BioMedGPS ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... At its national ... Dr. Suneel I. Sheikh, the co-founder, CEO and chief research scientist of Minnesota-based ... selected for membership in ARCS Alumni Hall of Fame . ASTER Labs ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... , ... October 11, 2017 , ... ComplianceOnline’s Medical Device ... on 7th and 8th June 2018 in San Francisco, CA. The Summit brings together ... as several distinguished CEOs, board directors and government officials from around the world to ...
Breaking Biology Technology: