- Schumann, Martha
Master of Science (in Forestry) The Graduate School University of Maine
In forests where large, stand-replacing disturbances are infrequent, small-scale disturbances associated with the mortality and replacement of individual trees are a primary source of heterogeneity in forest composition and structure. The canopy disturbances considered in this study were created by a partial harvest in the winter of 1987-1988 in an oak-pine (Quercus-Pinus) forest in Arrowsic, Maine. This study examined the gap phase of the forest turnover cycle: the brief episodes of rapid change when processes determining the structure and composition of a forest community occur.
There were three specific objectives related to the overall purpose of the study. The first objective was to describe diversity, composition, and individual plant species abundance in harvest gaps and the intact forest across four drainage classes. Because the vegetation was sampled in both 1993 ad 1998, detection of short-term changes was possible. The second objective was to assess the density of tree regeneration by species in 25-m^2 plots in harvest gaps and controls. The third objective of this study was to analyze the height growth of Pinus strobus saplings by position within harvest gaps.