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Restoration of Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) Forests through Natural Recovery

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DOI: 10.4236/ojf.2014.42016    3,822 Downloads   5,594 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

The management of second-growth Sequoia sempervirens (coast redwood) forests for the purpose of restoration and ecological conservation is a growing trend. However, little is known about the long-term regenerative potential of this forest type in the absence of post-harvest management techniques such as thinning and planting. Data on forest composition and structure were collected on a chronosequence (80 - 160 years) of mature recovering stands in the southern coast redwood range using a replicated, randomized, plot design. Results indicated that many stand characteristics including tree density, canopy cover, redwood dominance, species richness, herbaceous cover, and shrub cover reached levels statistically equivalent with old-growth reference sites in recovering stands within the time frame of this chronosequence. The recovery of individual herbaceous understory species was inconsistent however. While the cover of redwood-associated species (Oxalis oregana, Trientalis latifolia, and Disporum hookeri) reached levels statistically equivalent to old-growth reference sites, others (Trillium ovatum and Viola sempervirens) did not. Total basal area and species evenness also trended toward, but did not reach, old-growth conditions. The arboreal aspects of coast redwood forests appear to be remarkably resilient following a single logging event, and recover rapidly in the absence of active restoration techniques. The protracted recovery of certain redwood associated herbaceous understory species will require further study.

 

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Russell, W. , Sinclair, J. & Michels, K. (2014). Restoration of Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) Forests through Natural Recovery. Open Journal of Forestry, 4, 106-111. doi: 10.4236/ojf.2014.42016.

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