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Data from: Bryophyte abundance, diversity and composition after retention harvest in boreal mixedwood forest

Citation

Bartels, Samuel F. et al. (2017), Data from: Bryophyte abundance, diversity and composition after retention harvest in boreal mixedwood forest, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.59b85

Abstract

1. Variable-retention harvest is widely recognised as an alternative to more intensive methods such as clear-cutting. However, present information is inadequate to judge impact of variable-retention on biodiversity of indigenous forest organisms intolerant of canopy removal, such as forest-inhabiting bryophytes. 2. We examined how bryophyte species cover, richness, diversity and composition change with time in response to a broad range of dispersed retention harvest treatments (2% (clear-cut), 10%, 20%, 50%, 75% retention of original basal area) contrasted with uncut controls (100% retention)) in broadleaf deciduous, mixedwood and conifer-dominated boreal forests in NW Alberta, Canada. Bryophytes were studied in 432 permanent sample plots within 72 compartments before harvest and at three, six and eleven years after harvest. 3. Clear-cut and lower (10% and 20%) retention levels resulted in lower cover and richness of bryophytes than in unharvested control compartments in mixed and conifer-dominated forests, but less so in deciduous-dominated forests, which generally supported low cover and richness. Species composition in each forest type varied along the gradient of harvesting intensity; clear-cuts and lower levels of retention supported similar composition, as did control plots and those representing higher retention levels. Over time the retention harvest treatments became more similar to uncut controls. 4. Synthesis and applications. Increased retention moderated the negative impacts of harvesting on bryophyte assemblages across all forest types, and our results suggest that even 10% retention will facilitate faster post-harvest recovery of bryophytes.02-Aug-2017

Usage Notes

Location

Canada
Alberta