Cavity trees and coarse woody debris in old-growth and managed northern hardwood forests in Wisconsin and Michigan

John M. Goodburn, Craig G. Lorimer

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157 Scopus citations


The effects of uneven-aged management on the availability of coarse woody debris habitat were examined in northern hardwood forests (with and without a hemlock component) in north-central Wisconsin and adjacent western Upper Michigan. Snags, cavity trees, fallen wood, and recent tip-up mounds in 15 managed uneven-aged (selection) stands were compared with levels in 10 old-growth stands and six unmanaged even-aged second-growth stands. Amounts of coarse woody debris in selection stands were generally intermediate between old-growth and even-aged stands. Density of snags >30 cm DBH in northern hardwood selection stands averaged 12/ha, approximately double that found in even-aged northern hardwoods, but only 54% of the level in old-growth northern hardwoods. Highest densities of snags >30 cm DBH occurred in old-growth hemlock-hardwood stands, averaging over 40 snags/ha. For combined forest types, the volume of fallen wood (>10 cm in diameter) was significantly lower in selection stands (60 m3/ha) and even-aged stands (25 m3/ha) than in old-growth stands (99 m3/ha). Volume differences were even more pronounced for large-diameter debris (>40 cm). Cavity tree density in selection stands averaged 11 trees/ha, 65% of the mean number in old-growth stands. Densities of snags (>30 cm DBH) and large-diameter cavity trees (>45 cm) present in selection stands exceeded current guidelines for wildlife tree retention on public forests.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-438
Number of pages12
JournalCanadian Journal of Forest Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1998


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