Research and Monitoring Projects in the Northern Coast Range AMA

Initial list as of 4/13/97

Hebo Restoration Study
Principal investigators: Bernard Bormann, Ralph Crawford, Hebo Ranger District (USFS)
Topic: Thinning; Forest structure
Objectives: Learning to grow old-growth structure using alternative prescriptions on a degraded 1910 plantation of trees from off-site seed, apply active adaptive management; study focusses on soil productivity and biodiversity.
Methods: Four 10 acre (4 ha) treatments replicated three times: control, 30 trees per acre (tpa) thin w/ planted local Douglas-fir, 30 tpa (trees per acre) thin w/ planted alder and other hardwoods and shrubs, 60 tpa thin w/ planted hemlock and spruce. Each thin treatment will have twenty trees felled and left. Trees clumped (3-5 ea) on 30 tpa thins and will be reduced to 10 tpa over long term by snag creation and/or windthrow. Measurements done on core 1.2 ha plot with 25 m grid. Measurements include soil C, OM, and N, Coarse Woody Debris, fine woody debris (on 15-16 1 mý plots), trees on five 18x18m plots and understory on 15-16 3x3m plots/treatment, and climatic data from a weather station. More information

 Callahan Creek Density Management
Principal investigators: John Tappeiner, Charlie Thompson, Mary's Peak Resource Area (BLM)
Topic: Thinning; Riparian vegetation
Objectives: Study density management prescriptions to achieve old-growth stand characteristics as quickly as possible (i.e. large trees, snags, and down wood, and multiple layers of trees, shrubs, and herbs) and effects on wildlife and understory plant species.
Methods: On a 200 ac block of 70 yr old second growth forest, install 50 ac control and 3 treatments: high density (thin 70-75% of stand to 120 TPA (trees per acre)), moderate density (thin 60-65% of stand to 80 TPA, cut 10% in dispersed openings--3 ea.--of .25, .5, and 1 ac), variable density (thin 10% of stand to 40 TPA, 25-30% to 80 TPA, 25-30% to 120 TPA, and 10% in openings). Generally about 20-30% of thinned areas will be untreated, including Riparian Reserves and leave islands of .25, .5, and 1 acre in size. Treatments will be thinning from below, with all hardwoods, rare conifers, understory conifers, old-growth remnants, wolf trees, and large down logs and snags retained. All patch cuts will be planted with mixtures of spp, and thins will get some planting. Vegetation control will be done on half of the planted areas. Future thins are planned, especially for high density treatments. Riparian treatments include: 2 site tree buffer width with no thinning (ROD guidelines), 1 site tree buffer width with no thinning, and variable buffer width (buffer extends to topographic breaks). Understory trees and vegetation and overstory trees will be monitored on plots. Companion studies include wildlife monitoring (habitat characterization and selected spp--possibly flying squirrels, salamanders, bats), aquatic vertebrate studies (fish and amphibians), riparian microclimate and microsite characterization, and lichen and bryophyte response.

Riparian Buffer Study--Callahan Ck.
Principal investigators: Dede Olson, Sam Chan, BLM--Mary's Peak RA
Topic: Thinning; Riparian vegetation
Objectives: study effects of different stream buffers within thinning units on microclimate, vegetation, and stream vertebrates.
Methods: Riparian treatments include: 2 site tree buffer width with no thinning (ROD guidelines), 1 site tree buffer width with no thinning, variable buffer width (buffer extends to topographic breaks), and control. Understory trees and vegetation and overstory trees will be monitored on plots. Aquatic vertebrate (fish and amphibians), riparian microclimate and microsite characterization will also be studied.

Riparian Buffer Study--Schooner Ck.
Principal investigators: Dede Olson, Bruce Hansen, USFS--Hebo R.D.
Topic: Thinning; Riparian vegetation
Objectives: monitor effects of different stream buffers within thinning units on stream vertebrates.
Methods: Riparian treatments within thinning units designed to retain 90 trees per acre include: variable buffer width (buffer extends to topographic breaks), streamside retention (buffer includes only streamside trees) and control (unthinned unit). Aquatic vertebrates (fish and amphibians) and stream substrate will be monitored at regular intervals.

Hebo Bark Beetle Study
Principal investigators: Bruce Hostetler, Darrell Ross
Topic: Insects; Coarse Woody Debris; Thinning
Objectives: Examine response of bark beetle populations and infestation of live trees after felling and leaving trees in thinning units for coarse woody debris.
Methods: Placed 12 pheromone-baited traps in the spring of 1996 to get pre-treatment data on bark beetle abundance within Hebo restoration study and other nearby thin. Intend to continue trapping each year until one or two years after the cutting operation.

East Creek Restoration
Principal investigators: Steve Johnson, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
Topic: fish habitat; restoration
Objectives: Examine the effect of a set of stream restoration techniques on stream structure and fish populations.
Methods: In East Ck., logs were cabled into place to create pools above and plunge pools below, and "alcoves" were dug next to the stream to provide slow-water areas during high flows. Moon Ck. was left as a control. Stream habitat and fish numbers were sampled for ~3 years before in both creeks and about 5 years after (not sure if will continue).
Results: Number and area of pools increased after logs were put in. Appeared to be a positive effect on numbers of some fish species. Others, like coho, may be more limited by ocean returns than by early rearing habitat. Pool size diminished over time as sediments filled in behind logs, especially after Feb. '96 floods, and many alcoves filled with sediment or the openings to the creek were cut off by sediment.

Black Rock thin
Principal investigators: Dave Marshall
Topic: Thinning; tree growth
Objectives: evaluate productivity under different thinning regimes
Methods: Thinning treatments designed to keep stands between specified levels of basal area: control, light (160-90 ft2), medium (130-60), and heavy (100-30). One acre plots (with treated buffers) replicated 4 times in blocks. Douglas-fir stands, SI II or III+, first thinned in 1957 at age 48 (4 cuts total to date). Other plot (replicated?) thinned to 51 tpa in 1957 and underplanted w/ hemlock (6x6' spacing) of various seed sources.
Results (from one rep only): Original stand had 400-480 tpa, current treatments have 232, 126, 125, and 109 tpa. Mean DBH= 15.6, 19.2, 17.1, 17.7", and 28.5 on 5 tpa treatment. Net volume production (standing + thin)--no clear patterns, tends to follow SI variation among plots. Mean annual increment still increasing at age 80, so get more volume than 2 40 yr rotations of higher value logs.

Coastal Landscape Analysis and Modeling Study
Principal investigators: Tom Spies, Norm Johnson, Ralph Alig, Warren Cohen, Steve Garman, Gordon Grant, Rebecca Johnson, William McComb, Joe Means, Gordon Reeves, John Sessions
Topic: Ecosystem dynamics
Objectives: develop tools that integrate ecological, social, economic, and policy dimensions of Ecosystem Management; develop a framework for province-level EM; characterize the patterns and dynamics of human and ecological components; develop decision-support tools like data bases, models, and monitoring approaches; estimate effects of current policies on key resources and outputs across a multi-ownership province.
Methods: multi-disciplinary cooperative effort. Lit review and consultation to develop conceptual framework and key questions. Creat a map of current vegetation and reconstruct change in relation to environment and ownership over last 20 yrs. Environment data or process models (e.g hydrology and soil movement) will be used. UO paleoecology study will look at vegetation and fire over last 40K yrs. Develop spatial vegetation/habitat dynamics model, incoroporating range of natural and human disturbance types. Wildlife, fish, and economic models will be linked to vegetation dynamics model. Evaluate the efficiency of different forest policies in providing protection for fish, wildlife, and ecosystem processes.
More Information

Nestucca sediment study
Principal investigators: Peter Klingeman
Topic: hydrology; sediment
Objectives: develop data on turbidity and associated water quality of Nestucca River prior to improvement of Blaine Rd.
Methods: most data collected fall 95 - spring 96

Forest development studies
Principal investigators: Sarah Greene and others
Topic: Forest Succession
Objectives: document tree population changes in long-term plots for forest stands of different ages and compositions
Methods: trees are tagged and mapped, mortality and growth are measured at regular intervals. Set of permanent plots includes: 9 1-acre plots established in 1935 in 80 year-old spruce-hemlock and 3 in Douglas-fir; 44 0.1-ha plots in spruce-hemlock established in 1979; a 1-ha spruce-hemlock plot established in mid 1980's; plots established in 1935 on abandoned homestead and thinned to different mixtures of alders and conifers.
Results: Many publications have resulted from these and related studies at Cascade Head--see USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station General Technical Report PNW-GTR-268 (1991) for bibliography.

 Douglas-fir-Red Alder Competition Study
Principal investigators: Dave Hibbs and Steve Radosevich
Topic: Tree Competition, Nitrogen Cycling
Objectives: document the positive and negative interactions within and among Douglas-fir and red alder and investigate the mechanisms.
Methods: study includes replacement series and nelder plots in which total tree density, species proportion, and soil nitrogen level (represented by different sites in the region) are systematically varied. Tree seedlings were planted in clearcuts in 1984. Measurements include: above- and below-ground growth, photosynthesis and photosynthate allocation, plant and soil moisture relationships, nitrogen fixation and pools and fluxes of nitrogen in soils and plants.

Thin retrospective study
Principal investigators: John Bailey, John Tappeiner
Topic: Thinning
Objectives: compare tree growth and vegetation on adjacent thin, unthinned, and old-growth stands
Methods: adjacent stands of mature thinned and unthinned, and old-growth, located and sampled (tree composition and size structure). Some sites located in north coast. Coordinated sampling now includes invertebrates, bats, lichens + bryophytes, and herps. Work began in 1993.

Elk Creek Thin
Principal investigators: Dave Hibbs, Sam Chan, Bill Emmingham, John Tappeiner (COPE project)
Topic: Riparian vegetation
Objectives: determine effects of harvest, vegetation type, landform on vegetation dynamics by sampling the spectrum of existing buffer strip conditions; develop tree regeneration systems
Methods: stands dominated by 26 and 48 yr old alder (Alnus rubra). Studied controls, partial cutting (to 60% full sunlight), and complete riparian harvest. Alder (Alnus rubra), Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla), THPL (Thuja plicata), and grand fir (Abies grandis) planted and protected w/ tubing. Three understory treamtents (uncut, annual cut, biannual cut) were imposed in each overstory treatment. Light and soil moisture measurements and regeneration microsite info collected.
Results: Soil texture ranged from loamy sand to silty clay loam w/in a few meters. Light usually less than 10% in controls, and gaps dominated by herbs and shrubs. Survival generally decreased w/ overstory cover, except reverse for THPL; growth decreased dramatically w/ cover. Growth was generally better w/ shrub cutting, though ABGR and THPL did better w/ 1-cut than w/ 2- cut. Alder-dominated buffer strips are stable; found few differences between buffer strips and intact riparian forest. Except for alder, few differences in growth and survival of 6 underplanted spp in 60% thinned and complete removal treatments after 3 years. Thinned alder canopies were closing rapidly: future thinning may be required. Annual cutting of salmonberry had little effect on regrowth till third year.

 Wildlife and Thinning Study
Principal investigators: John Hayes, Bill McComb, Steve Hobbs, Bob Anthony, Bill Emmingham (COPE project)
Topic: Wildlife
Objectives: determine effect of different thinning levels and densities of created snags on vegetation and wildlife.
Methods: Replicated treatments in 30 year-old Douglas-fir stands consist of controls, moderate thin, and wide thin (~70 tpa) on 65+ ac units, with no underplanting of tree seedlings. Measurements include breeding birds, small mammals, amphibians, understory vegetation, natural tree regeneration, stand structure, Phellinus root rot, and mycorrhyzae. Pretreatment surveys were conducted and treatments installed in 1993.

Aquatic Wildlife Studies
Principal investigators: Deanna Olson, Gordon Reeves, Bruce Hansen, and others
Topic: Aquatic Wildlife
Objectives: document salmonid and amphibian abundance and relationships to riparian habitats on multiple streams in the Coast Range.
Methods: Studies on Cummins and Cape Creeks examine microhabitat relationships of salmonids, have 5-6 yrs of data; studies on Cummins and Elk Creeks examine relationships between fish abundacne and conditions from local to watershed scales; a study on Schooner Ck is a long-term (8 yrs so far) study of fish and amphibian diversity and abundance; a study on Drift Ck is an attempt at habitat classification using remote sensing data; and a study is examining cutthroat trout genetics on the whole coast. The team has also have developed a procedure for analysis and delineation of riparian reserve boundaries which needs to be field-tested and evaluated.

Wildcat thin
Principal investigators: Pete Owston, Bill Emmingham, COPE
Topic: Thinning; Vegetation management
Objectives: determine the abundance and growth of understory plants, decay and accumulation of wood and organic matter, net primary production, and microsite characteristics under different overstory treatments; and study effect of different commercial thinning and planting methods on response of overstory trees, stand structure, and wildlife habitat
Methods: commercial thinning in 20-40 yr old Douglas-fir plantations using controls (2-400 tpa) and 100 (normal), 60, and 30 tpa thinnings. Western hemlock and Douglas-fir planted in all areas, red alder in root rot pockets, and Douglas-fir, hemlock, Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis), western redcedar (Thuja plicata), grand fir, red alder, and bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum) planted in trials too (also unplanted areas). Understory and overstory development and microclimate will be followed.

Laminated root rot thinning study
Principal Investigators: Walt Thies, BLM--Tillamook RA
Topic: thinning; root disease
Objectives: study spread of laminated root rot (Phellinus weirii) in response to thinning of different types.
Methods: 4 stand treatments on blocks of 17 acres each: unthinned control, uniform thin regardless of disease, "bridge-tree thin" by cutting trees within 15 feet of disease pockets to arrest spread and thinning rest of stand, and thin stand but leaving 5-6 clumps/acre of unthinned trees on south sides of disease pockets to avoid windthrow. Set up permanent grid in central 10 acres of each unit and map all diseased trees prior to harvest, verify/augment disease identification immediately after harvest, and monitor spread of disease in years following harvest.

North coast old-growth structure
Principal investigators: Andrew Gray
Topic: vegetation; structure
Objectives: sample structure and composition of existing late-successional forests (or stand recreation from recent clearcuts if necessary) in different ecological zones across the AMA to develop structural targets for stands to be restored.
Methods: will include field surveys compatible with existing permanent vegetation plot protocols and compilation of existing information

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