Date of Award
Open Access Master's Thesis
Master of Science in Forestry (MS)
Administrative Home Department
College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science
Committee Member 1
Northern hardwood selection silviculture relies on the perpetuation of natural regeneration. However, many researchers and forest managers have concerns about deficiencies in regeneration and the associated ingrowth and recruitment of advance regeneration under single-tree selection. Given the differences of management application in the Great Lakes region, long-term studies and datasets are critical to understanding of how these systems function and change. Using the Cutting Methods Study, in the Western Upper Peninsula of Michigan, these concerns were investigated with a multi-decadal dataset, for understory tree species composition and density, diversity, recruitment, and age-diameter relationships across management methods. In response to the past three harvest entries, regeneration densities have consistently been affected by overstory basal area; with a positive relationship in the smallest size classes which gradually flatten in the larger size classes. All treatments had a decline in understory sugar maple dominance with the largest changes in the high intensity treatments which also supported the highest species diversity. Moreover, all treatments have a positive age-diameter relationship with a trend of lower recruitment rates in low intensity treatments, and have created and recruited regeneration since the study establishment in 1956. Following 62-years of consistent management, these results suggest that alternative management methods, beyond Arbogast (1957) recommendations, can be applied in comparable northern hardwood forests and can maintain similar regeneration densities with higher species diversity and recruitment.
Harmala, Heidi, "UNDERSTORY DYNAMICS ACROSS 62-YEARS OF A NORTHERN HARDWOOD MANAGEMENT GRADIENT STUDY", Open Access Master's Thesis, Michigan Technological University, 2021.