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Reconstructed Old-Growth Forest Stand Structure and Composition of Two Stands on the Olympic Peninsula, Washington State
David H. Peter (au); Constance A. Harrington (au)
The authors reconstructed the stand structure and composition for two western Washington old-growth forest stands harvested around 1930 (named Fresca and Rail) from field and historical data. Both old-growth stands had a codominant or dominant 250-year-old Douglas-fir (”Pseudotsuga menziesii” (Mirb.) Franco) overstory with a few scattered older Douglas-fir. Western hemlock (”Tsuga heterophylla” (Raf.) Sarg.) was codominant at Rail but was predominantly in the mid-story and understory at Fresca. The Fresca site is now dominated by Sitka spruce (”Picea sitchensis” (Bong.) Carr.) and western hemlock, whereas Rail has a composition similar to the previous old-growth stand. Events taking place early in succession are probably responsible for the differences between the modern and historical stands. Accelerated restoration of old-growth structural diversity may be possible at both sites through repeated creation of artificial gaps, but Fresca will remain different from its historical composition. tables and Figures.
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