USDA Forest Service

Pacific Northwest Research Station

Pacific Northwest Research Station
333 SW First Ave.
Portland, OR 97204

(503) 808-2100

US Forest Service


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Density Management and Riparian Buffer Studies

An economic recovery project led by Deanna Olson of the PNW Research Station and Oregon State University’s Klaus Puettmann has employed a forestry technician, a postdoctoral forestry researcher, and a Ph.D. student to help investigate the effects and interactions of climate patterns and alternative forest management practices on forest, riparian, and stream habitat conditions in headwater drainages.

This project is part of a larger long-term collaborative research initiative, the Density Management and Riparian Buffer Studies of Western Oregon, an effort that involves the PNW Research Station, the Forest Service Pacific Northwest Region, the USDI Bureau of Land Management, and Oregon State University. The goal of the initiative is to examine the efficacy of alternative silvicultural manipulations (including different riparian buffer widths and thinning densities) of early-successional forests in accelerating the development of late-successional forest structure. The forest treatments are being tested as useful project-level tools to achieve larger forest ecosystem management goals.

The studies are entering a new round of thinning treatments, providing an optimal time to synthesize and integrate discrete study segments. It is also timely for developing new directions from interim findings and changing conditions that potentially affect the study and its representative forest landscape. Inclusion of climate metrics and assessment of climate variation (as variables that potentially affect both upland and riparian vegetation growth and aquatic-riparian habitat conditions for sensitive fauna) is an important new direction for this set of studies. The infusion of economic recovery funds has allowed for expansion of the scope of the research to include the effect of climatic variation on water availability for riparian forest growth. It has also made it possible for Puettmann’s extensive work in upland forests to be integrated into the research framework. Recent results from the research have been presented at various scientific meetings, and several journal publications are in preparation.




US Forest Service - Pacific Northwest Research Station
Last Modified: Tuesday,26July2016 at16:40:42CDT

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