Coarse woody debris (CWD) plays an important role in the ecology of forests (Harmon et al. 1986; Stevens 1997), the provisions of shelter, habitat and food for plant and wildlife species (Bunnell et al. 1999; Bull 2002), and in forest ecosystem nutrient cycling (LeFroth 1998). In order to set targets for CWD retention in managed forest landscapes, it is necessary to first have benchmark understandings of CWD quantities and qualities that naturally occur in late successional forest stands. To establish benchmarks for CWD retention in the Prince George Timber Supply Area, 40 sites in 3 different BEC zones were sampled for CWD volumes. Volumes in the Sub-boreal Spruce (SBS), Interior Cedar-Hemlock (ICH), and Engelmann Spruce-Subalpine Fir (ESSF) BEC zones tended to be quite variable, with the highest volumes occurring in the ESSF and the lowest volumes occurring in the SBS. Volumes were analyzed in 3 classes, total volume, volume 7.5 30 cm in diameter, and volume >30 cm in diameter. We offer preliminary targets for CWD volume retention within these BEC zones based on the data collected in this study. The small sample size of this study (only 40 sites across 3 BEC zones) is important to note when applying these targets. To ensure that targets reflect naturally occurring levels of CWD and capture the inherent variation in them, it is highly recommended that additional sampling of forest stands be undertaken to refine targets and ranges presented in this report.
final report prepared by Manning, Cooper, and Associates Ltd.
Manning, Cooper and Associates Ltd.. 2007. Establishing coarse woody debris benchmarks in the Prince George timber supply area. Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Land Base Investment Program - Innovative. Forest Investment Account Report