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


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.


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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.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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