A Glance At The Ecological Stages Of Trees.
This is not intended to be the last word on the topic. There is a
requirement to separate the forest from the tree farm. Taking the old
growth forest as what things look like when they go right, we can encourage
better treatments for tree farming. Allow me to define some terms with
respect to this article. Forest - A highly ordered arrangement of living
organisms living in, on and around the ecological stages of trees, in such a
highly ordered fashion, that results in high quality survival of all. The
latter made up of biotic agents as well as abiotic forces. It is not
monoculture. Tree Farm - A single stand or group of trees under one or more
ownerships with the goal of removing wood for the many items man requires.
This may or may not be monoculture. Until this time the primary goal or
tree farming is getting the wood out. Health - Is the ability to resist
strain. Strain is not reversible while stress is. Take a spring and expand
it. If it returns to its original position it was stressed. If it does
not, it was strained. Other terms can be found at www.treedictionary.com.
With that said, an understanding of the role of the ecological
stages of trees with respect to their associates, is well worth exploring
for forest as well as tree farming health. Taking into consideration the
benefits of large fallen trees for the forest as well as the tree farm.
Large, fallen trees in various stages of decay contribute much-needed
diversity to terrestrial and aquatic habitats in forests. When most
biological activity in soil is limited by low moisture availability in
summer, the fallen tree-soil interface offers a relatively cool, moist
habitat for animals and a substrate for microbial and root activity.
Intensified utilization and management can deprive future tree farms of
large, fallen trees. The impact of this loss on habitat diversity and on
long-term tree farm productivity must be determined because managers need
sound information on which to base resource management decisions.
"..dying and dead (symplastless) wood provides one of the two or
three greatest resources for animal species in a natural forest . . . if
fallen timber and slightly decayed trees are removed the whole system is
gravely impoverished of perhaps, more than a fifth of its fauna." (Maser and
Trappe, 1984, pg1) So, on a tree farm, why not take a log in, when going in
to remove one? The log would carry on many unique functions thus adding to
the health of the tree farm. A good friend of mine has invented a low
impact machine for doing just that. Keep in mind: Many insects, fungi,
bacteria, and other organisms are thought to be harmful, yet very few of
them are. (SHIGO, Pithy Points 1999)
Humans need to "learn" to understand that fallen trees are not just
"DEAD" non-ecologically functioning masses of waste. Waste is a human term
meaning the result of mismanagement.
A question to be addressed in a future article. Woody debris is
generally removed from streams or forests in the name of economic progress,
but what are the short-term and long-term biological consequences? (Maser
and Trappe, 1984, pg1-par5)
I would like to discuss this and associated issues in future articles if you
would have me.
Referred articles - it is case sensitive:
John A. Keslick, Jr.
Beware of so-called TREE EXPERTS who do not understand TREE BIOLOGY!
Storms, fires, floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions keep reminding us
that we are not the boss!