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Developing silvicultural systems based on partial cutting in western hemlock-Sitka spruce stands of southeast Alaska

Deal, R.L., Tappeiner, J.C., Hennon, P.E.
Forestry 2002 v.75 no.4 pp. 425-431
Picea sitchensis, Tsuga heterophylla, silvicultural systems, botanical composition, stand structure, mortality, plant diseases and disorders, logging, volume, Arceuthobium, mechanical damage, Alaska
The effects of partial cutting on species composition, stand structure and growth, tree size distribution, and tree disease and mortality were evaluated on 73 plots in 18 stands that were harvested 12-96 years ago in southeast Alaska. Partially-cut stands had diverse and highly complex stand structures similar to uncut stands. Sitka spruce was maintained in mixed hemlock-spruce stands over a wide range of cutting intensities. Analysis of the data did not detect significant changes in tree species composition, stand growth, hemlock dwarf mistletoe infection and incidence of tree wounding or mortality rates with partial cuts. Silvicultural systems using partial cutting could provide a sustainable timber resource including more valuable spruce trees, while also maintaining stand structural diversity and old-growth characteristics.