The volume and composition of dead wood on traditional and forest fuel harvested clear-cuts
Silva Fennica 44(2): 203211
Logging residue and cut stumps are increasingly used as a renewable energy source known as forest fuel. Forest fuel harvesting obviously reduces the volume of dead wood and is likely to alter the dead wood composition, but the magnitude of the change is not known. Such information is important for the evaluation of the effects of forest fuel harvesting on biodiversity because a large proportion of forest dwelling species are directly dependent on dead wood. We measured the volume and characteristics of all dead wood units with a minimum diameter of 2 cm and a minimum length of 20 cm on 10 forest-fuel harvested and 10 traditional (control) clear-cuts. The total volume of dead wood at forest fuel harvested and control clear-cuts was 26.0 and 42.3 m3/ha, respectively. The volumes were much greater than expected suggesting that the volume of dead wood on clear-cuts has been underestimated in previous studies. Forest fuel harvested clear-cuts had 42% less branches and 81% less cut stumps than control clear-cuts but there were no differences in the volume of logs and pieces of logs, snags or roots. The volume of fine woody debris was negatively affected by forest fuel harvesting. We conclude that fine woody debris and cut stumps form a considerable resource on clear-cuts that is reduced by forest fuel harvesting. These components of dead wood have potential to be of importance in managed forests and thus deserve more attention in future biodiversity studies.
Received 24 February 2010 Revised Accepted 17 March 2010