Date of Award


Document Type

Master's report

Degree Name

Master of Science in Forestry (MS)

College, School or Department Name

School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science


Blair D Orr


Monitoring of herbaceous plants on the Ottawa National Forest (ONF) is used to understand the impact of forest management on understory composition and site conditions. In their planning, national forests are required to take into account management impacts on diversity and ecosystem health. The effect of management on understory species is dependent on various factors, including the intensity of disturbance and the biology of the plant. In the first study in this report, a population of Carex assiniboinensis, a Michigan state threatened species, was monitored for seven seasons including before logging commenced, in order to determine the sedge’s response to a single-tree selection harvest. Analyses provided insights for management of C. assiniboinensis at the stand level over the short-term. In the second study in this report, the use of the cutleaf toothwort (Cardamine concatenata) as a Management Indicator Species on the ONF was reviewed. Data were analyzed to determine the suitability of using C. concatenata to monitor impacts of forest management on site conditions. The various factors that affect understory species population dynamics illuminated the challenges of using indicator species to monitor site conditions. Insights from the study provide a greater understanding of management impacts on understory species across the Ottawa National Forest.