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Regeneration Responses in Partially-Harvested Riparian Management Zones in Northern Minnesota

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DOI: 10.4236/jwarp.2014.66054    3,955 Downloads   4,754 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Trees serve important functions in riparian areas. Guidelines often suggest how riparian forests should be managed to sustain functions, including tree retention and increasing the component of conifers and later-successional species. While regeneration of early successional species is not discouraged, there is uncertainty about the ability to regenerate the latter along with more desirable species. We investigated the regeneration of species differing in successional status and growth forms under different amounts of residual basal area. The study was conducted in riparian sites in northern Minnesota USA. At each site, one portion of the riparian area was uncut, while a downstream area was harvested to 16 or 8 m2·ha-1. Woody vegetation was sampled before and five-years after harvesting and summarized as early, mid-, and late successional hardwoods, as well as conifers and shrubs. After five years, the density of early successional trees was lower at 16 m2·ha-1 compared to 8 m2·ha-1; densities in both treatments were lower than in clearcuts. Densities of mid- and late successional hardwoods and conifers did not increase in either treatment. The higher basal area treatment resulted in a lower density of shrubs, which might be important for establishing more desirable tree species, although this may require additional activities to promote establishment.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Kastendick, D. , Palik, B. , Zenner, E. , Kolka, R. , Blinn, C. and Kragthorpe, J. (2014) Regeneration Responses in Partially-Harvested Riparian Management Zones in Northern Minnesota. Journal of Water Resource and Protection, 6, 556-564. doi: 10.4236/jwarp.2014.66054.

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