Upland Forest Restoration Monitoring

Since 2002 we have initiated several upland forest restoration trials and research projects that focus on forest responses to restoration techniques. The most recent is a trial to evaluate selected tree species and populations from more southern seed zones for their ability to grow and reproduce under conditions expected with global climate change. Other projects include a trial on upland restoration planting in forest gaps, a restoration thinning trial to evaluate tree and understory growth response to different patterns and levels of thinning in young forests, a slash treatment trial, and an ecological thinning experiment.

Beetles Tree Bark

See slideshow of the bark beetle monitoring project.

The latter project was designed and sampled in collaboration with scientists from the University of Washington and aims to study the relationship of understory vegetation development with different patterns of overstory tree removal. Results of these studies will have great value in the design of future upland forest habitat restoration projects.

We have established projects that monitor the response of the forest to natural disturbance patterns. An example is a bark beetle study we initiated after a large windstorm blew down several thousand acres of forest in the lower watershed in 2003. This study is tracking the response of native Douglas-fir bark beetle populations to leaving the large number of trees on the forest floor after the storm.

We are also monitoring the results of selected active forest habitat restoration projects in order to track changes in forest structural development and plant species composition. Monitoring designs include pretreatment baseline information, control sites, and various schedules of resampling for overstory trees, forest structure, and understory vegetation development.

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