Comparison of historical and contemporary forest structure and composition on permanent plots in southwestern ponderosa pine forests

Margaret M Moore, David W. Huffman, Peter Z Fule, Wallace W Covington, Joseph E. Crouse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

109 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We compared historical (1909-1913) and contemporary (1997-1999) forest structure and composition on 15 permanent plots in ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Dougl. ex Laws.) forests of Arizona and New Mexico. We used the same sampling methods as in the early 1900s and compared stand density, diameter distributions, species composition, and broad age classes from the two periods. Stand density (trees ≥9.14 cm dbh) significantly (P < 0.001) increased on plots from an average of 77.4 trees per plot (s = 49.9) at plot establishment in 1909-1913 to 519.1 trees per plot (s = 252.3) at remeasurement in 1997-1999. Basal area significantly (P < 0.001) increased from 8.0 m2 per plot (s = 3.5) to 28.5 m2 per plot (s = 10.1). Contemporary tree diameter distribution shifted toward smaller size classes as demonstrated by a significant (P = 0.001) decrease in quadratic mean diameter from 38.5 cm (s = 7.5) in 1909-1913 to 28.6 cm (s = 7.1) in 1997-1999. Broad age classes yielded an average of 61.5 (s = 49.5) residual live trees classified as "blackjack" ponderosa pine (P. ponderosa <150 years) and 13.3 (s = 11.9) "yellow pine" (P. ponderosa ≥150 years) in 1909-1913. In 1997-1999, 416 live trees (s = 229.6) were "blackjack" and 57.2 (s = 28.5) trees on average were "yellow pine." Twelve of the 15 plots were not invaded by other tree species (remained pure ponderosa pine type), while composition shifted slightly on three plots toward more shade-tolerant and fire-intolerant species. Ninety-one percent of the historically (1909-1913 or older) mapped tree structures (live trees, snags, logs, stumps, etc.) were relocated, which suggested that the forest reconstruction field techniques are reliable within 10%. Dramatic increases in tree densities may represent an increased potential for bark beetle epidemics and stand replacing wildfire over large areas in the Southwest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)162-176
Number of pages15
JournalForest Science
Volume50
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2004

Fingerprint

Pinus ponderosa
coniferous forests
stand density
age class
age structure
Pinus
comparison
snags
bark beetles
snag
stumps
wildfires
tree and stand measurements
basal area
wildfire
shade
bark
beetle
species diversity
methodology

Keywords

  • Arizona
  • Early 1900s
  • Forest structural changes
  • G.A. Pearson
  • New Mexico
  • Pinus ponderosa
  • Reference conditions
  • Residual stands
  • T.S. Woolsey, Jr.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Plant Science

Cite this

Comparison of historical and contemporary forest structure and composition on permanent plots in southwestern ponderosa pine forests. / Moore, Margaret M; Huffman, David W.; Fule, Peter Z; Covington, Wallace W; Crouse, Joseph E.

In: Forest Science, Vol. 50, No. 2, 04.2004, p. 162-176.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{11103d4d74834e3996f9f15f2a28ef6e,
title = "Comparison of historical and contemporary forest structure and composition on permanent plots in southwestern ponderosa pine forests",
abstract = "We compared historical (1909-1913) and contemporary (1997-1999) forest structure and composition on 15 permanent plots in ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Dougl. ex Laws.) forests of Arizona and New Mexico. We used the same sampling methods as in the early 1900s and compared stand density, diameter distributions, species composition, and broad age classes from the two periods. Stand density (trees ≥9.14 cm dbh) significantly (P < 0.001) increased on plots from an average of 77.4 trees per plot (s = 49.9) at plot establishment in 1909-1913 to 519.1 trees per plot (s = 252.3) at remeasurement in 1997-1999. Basal area significantly (P < 0.001) increased from 8.0 m2 per plot (s = 3.5) to 28.5 m2 per plot (s = 10.1). Contemporary tree diameter distribution shifted toward smaller size classes as demonstrated by a significant (P = 0.001) decrease in quadratic mean diameter from 38.5 cm (s = 7.5) in 1909-1913 to 28.6 cm (s = 7.1) in 1997-1999. Broad age classes yielded an average of 61.5 (s = 49.5) residual live trees classified as {"}blackjack{"} ponderosa pine (P. ponderosa <150 years) and 13.3 (s = 11.9) {"}yellow pine{"} (P. ponderosa ≥150 years) in 1909-1913. In 1997-1999, 416 live trees (s = 229.6) were {"}blackjack{"} and 57.2 (s = 28.5) trees on average were {"}yellow pine.{"} Twelve of the 15 plots were not invaded by other tree species (remained pure ponderosa pine type), while composition shifted slightly on three plots toward more shade-tolerant and fire-intolerant species. Ninety-one percent of the historically (1909-1913 or older) mapped tree structures (live trees, snags, logs, stumps, etc.) were relocated, which suggested that the forest reconstruction field techniques are reliable within 10{\%}. Dramatic increases in tree densities may represent an increased potential for bark beetle epidemics and stand replacing wildfire over large areas in the Southwest.",
keywords = "Arizona, Early 1900s, Forest structural changes, G.A. Pearson, New Mexico, Pinus ponderosa, Reference conditions, Residual stands, T.S. Woolsey, Jr.",
author = "Moore, {Margaret M} and Huffman, {David W.} and Fule, {Peter Z} and Covington, {Wallace W} and Crouse, {Joseph E.}",
year = "2004",
month = "4",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "50",
pages = "162--176",
journal = "Forest Science",
issn = "0015-749X",
publisher = "Society of American Foresters",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Comparison of historical and contemporary forest structure and composition on permanent plots in southwestern ponderosa pine forests

AU - Moore, Margaret M

AU - Huffman, David W.

AU - Fule, Peter Z

AU - Covington, Wallace W

AU - Crouse, Joseph E.

PY - 2004/4

Y1 - 2004/4

N2 - We compared historical (1909-1913) and contemporary (1997-1999) forest structure and composition on 15 permanent plots in ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Dougl. ex Laws.) forests of Arizona and New Mexico. We used the same sampling methods as in the early 1900s and compared stand density, diameter distributions, species composition, and broad age classes from the two periods. Stand density (trees ≥9.14 cm dbh) significantly (P < 0.001) increased on plots from an average of 77.4 trees per plot (s = 49.9) at plot establishment in 1909-1913 to 519.1 trees per plot (s = 252.3) at remeasurement in 1997-1999. Basal area significantly (P < 0.001) increased from 8.0 m2 per plot (s = 3.5) to 28.5 m2 per plot (s = 10.1). Contemporary tree diameter distribution shifted toward smaller size classes as demonstrated by a significant (P = 0.001) decrease in quadratic mean diameter from 38.5 cm (s = 7.5) in 1909-1913 to 28.6 cm (s = 7.1) in 1997-1999. Broad age classes yielded an average of 61.5 (s = 49.5) residual live trees classified as "blackjack" ponderosa pine (P. ponderosa <150 years) and 13.3 (s = 11.9) "yellow pine" (P. ponderosa ≥150 years) in 1909-1913. In 1997-1999, 416 live trees (s = 229.6) were "blackjack" and 57.2 (s = 28.5) trees on average were "yellow pine." Twelve of the 15 plots were not invaded by other tree species (remained pure ponderosa pine type), while composition shifted slightly on three plots toward more shade-tolerant and fire-intolerant species. Ninety-one percent of the historically (1909-1913 or older) mapped tree structures (live trees, snags, logs, stumps, etc.) were relocated, which suggested that the forest reconstruction field techniques are reliable within 10%. Dramatic increases in tree densities may represent an increased potential for bark beetle epidemics and stand replacing wildfire over large areas in the Southwest.

AB - We compared historical (1909-1913) and contemporary (1997-1999) forest structure and composition on 15 permanent plots in ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Dougl. ex Laws.) forests of Arizona and New Mexico. We used the same sampling methods as in the early 1900s and compared stand density, diameter distributions, species composition, and broad age classes from the two periods. Stand density (trees ≥9.14 cm dbh) significantly (P < 0.001) increased on plots from an average of 77.4 trees per plot (s = 49.9) at plot establishment in 1909-1913 to 519.1 trees per plot (s = 252.3) at remeasurement in 1997-1999. Basal area significantly (P < 0.001) increased from 8.0 m2 per plot (s = 3.5) to 28.5 m2 per plot (s = 10.1). Contemporary tree diameter distribution shifted toward smaller size classes as demonstrated by a significant (P = 0.001) decrease in quadratic mean diameter from 38.5 cm (s = 7.5) in 1909-1913 to 28.6 cm (s = 7.1) in 1997-1999. Broad age classes yielded an average of 61.5 (s = 49.5) residual live trees classified as "blackjack" ponderosa pine (P. ponderosa <150 years) and 13.3 (s = 11.9) "yellow pine" (P. ponderosa ≥150 years) in 1909-1913. In 1997-1999, 416 live trees (s = 229.6) were "blackjack" and 57.2 (s = 28.5) trees on average were "yellow pine." Twelve of the 15 plots were not invaded by other tree species (remained pure ponderosa pine type), while composition shifted slightly on three plots toward more shade-tolerant and fire-intolerant species. Ninety-one percent of the historically (1909-1913 or older) mapped tree structures (live trees, snags, logs, stumps, etc.) were relocated, which suggested that the forest reconstruction field techniques are reliable within 10%. Dramatic increases in tree densities may represent an increased potential for bark beetle epidemics and stand replacing wildfire over large areas in the Southwest.

KW - Arizona

KW - Early 1900s

KW - Forest structural changes

KW - G.A. Pearson

KW - New Mexico

KW - Pinus ponderosa

KW - Reference conditions

KW - Residual stands

KW - T.S. Woolsey, Jr.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=2642577694&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=2642577694&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:2642577694

VL - 50

SP - 162

EP - 176

JO - Forest Science

JF - Forest Science

SN - 0015-749X

IS - 2

ER -