Ecological Stages Of Trees

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
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. Arborist 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!
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