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Crown differentiation in even aged northern hardwood forests of the great lakes region usa


Crown differentiation in even aged northern hardwood forests of the great lakes region usa



Forest Ecology and Management 10(1-2): 65-86



ISSN/ISBN: 0378-1127

Interspecific differences in total tree height and crown position were studied in 20 even-aged northern hardwood stands by reconstructing historical patterns of height growth and analyzing current structure of the forest canopy. Most cases of significant differences in tree height among species involve species of different shade-tolerance classes; strong crown differentiation seldom occurred among species of the same tolerance class. On some sites, height differences among species were significant but growth rates were not sufficiently diffferent to cause trees of the slower growing species to become completely overtopped. Pronounced vertical stratification with canopy trees of 1 sp. overtopping another could be detected on only 1 of 6 habitat types. Differences in rate of height growth among species are most pronounced in the first 40 yr of stand development and diminished rapidly after that point. The slower growth of shade-tolerant species was partly compensated in some cases by early germination in the understory of the previous stand, but similarity of growth rates apparently is a major reason that several species are able to share dominance of the canopy layer several decades after clearcutting.

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Accession: 005070637

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