iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry (Oct 2015)

Changes in aboveground biomass following alternative harvesting in oak-hickory forests in the eastern USA

  • Chen J,
  • Xu J,
  • Jensen R,
  • Kabrick J

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 8, no. 1
pp. 652 – 660


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Managing forest lands for the sustainability of ecosystem functions and services by developing and implementing sound silvicultural methods through site-specific practices is a core concept in ecosystem management. In this study, we used long-term data collected at the extensive plots of the Missouri Forest Ecosystem Project (MOFEP) in the southeastern Missouri Ozarks (USA) to study the changes in aboveground biomass (AGB) under three silvicultural treatments: even-aged management sites (EAM), uneven-aged management sites (UAM), and non-harvested management sites (NHM). Treatments changed the magnitude of AGB dynamics. The forests maintained an AGB of 147.9 Mg ha-1 in 1990 and it increased to 175.6 Mg ha-1 by 2009. The forests were manipulated with four treatments: clear-cut, non-harvest, uneven-aged single-tree, and uneven-aged group selection and yielded AGB values of 30.7, 139.5, 125.7, and 148.7 Mg ha-1 of AGB in 2009, respectively. Over the 18-year study period, these forests accumulated 1.78 ± 0.26 Mg ha-1 yr-1, ranging from 1.60 to 1.94 Mg ha-1 yr-1 at the NHM plots. Changes in the net AGB growth rate were contributed by different growth rates of live trees and mortality and exhibited clear intra-annual variation during the five sampling periods. We observed a decreasing contribution of Quercus velutina (black oak) AGB (~6%), an increasing trend for Q. alba (white oak), and a stable change for Q. coccinea (scarlet oak) during the study period.