4. Coarse Woody Debris – Reduction of Browsing of Sensitive
125. Preservation of a threatened or endangered species involves
preservation of its habitat and the diversity that habitat entails. When
such becomes a goal of forest management, managers need information not only
on owls or small mammals, but also on the mycorrhizal fungi that form the
base of the food web. Removal of ectomycorrhizal tree hosts removes
the energy source of ectomycorrhizal fungi, which will not fruit without
their host plants (Amaranthus, Trappe and Bednar, 1994).
126. With respect to fallen trees. Furrows in the bark on the upper
side fill with leaf duff and provide sites for several years for seeds to
germinate. Where the bark is intact, seedlings generally die during
summer drought. If a seedlings roots find a crack or hole in the bark
and grow into the decomposed layer between bark and wood, however, it may
find enough moisture to survive the summer (Maser and Trappe, 1984 pg 25-par
127. Some of the mycorrhizal fungi that inhibit both mineral soil and
so called rotten wood develop much more strongly in the wood than in the
soil, and some appear to be restricted to so called rotten wood (Maser and
Trappe, 1984 pg 29-par 1). Mycorrhizae increase plant vitality and
therefore such materials that strengthen the latter also increase survival
of a species.
128. Many insects and animals eat fungi and disperse the spores and
probably occur through all decay stages of a tree. The fungal grazers are
food for predators, so the animal-plant interactions are a prelude to
animal-animal interactions (Maser and Trappe, 1984, pg 29-par 2).
129. I have learned, the reasonability of the public and the USFS is
to see these organisms have a high quality life, i.e., the fauna and flora.
The Eastside Project is an example or better yet, proof - that the USFS is
not capable of doing the job right.
130. Fungi feeders, E.g., In the Northwest - California red-backed
voles to black tailed deer, may obtain some of their protein nitrogen from
decaying trees by feeding on fungal fruiting bodies, such as what some call
truffles and mushrooms (Maser and Trappe, 1984, pg 36-par 3).
131. Certainly our knowledge of biological processes and their interactions
within forest is incomplete, and we know too little about the cumulative
effect of a wide range of stresses on the ecosystem. But integrative
research at the ecosystem level shows clearly that the many processes operating
within forest inter-connect in important ways. Further, diversity of
microscopic and macroscopic plant and animal species is a key factor in maintaining
these processes (Maser, Tarrant, Trappe and Franklin, 1988, pg1-par2).
132. Forests containing mature and maturing trees conserve essential
elements, whereas forests containing very young trees are susceptible to
erosion and essential element loss. Forests of the Coast Range interior valleys
produce less wood than do those on more moist sites nearer the ocean. And
internally, the old managed forest is more diverse than many young and mid-age
forests. Old forests have deeper, multi layered canopies, larger accumulations,
of coarse woody debris (any symplastless standing or fallen tree stem at
least 4 inches in diameter at breast height (d.b.h.) on snags and at the
large end on fallen trees), and more "specialized plants and animals” than
forests containing young trees have (Maser, Tarrant, Trappe and Franklin,
133. About 140 years are needed for essential elements to cycle in
large, fallen trees and more than 400 years for such trees to become incorporated
into the forest floor; they therefore interact with the plants and animals
of the forest floor and soil over a long period of forest and stand successional
history (Maser, Tarrant, Trappe and Franklin, 1988, pg37-par2).
134. The manner, which a fallen tree comes to rest on the forest floor
greatly, influences subsequent diversity of both external and internal plant
and animal habitats. The decomposing fallen tree provides a changing
spectrum of habitats over many decades’ even centuries. It provides
diversity within a given successional stage and forms a physical-chemical
link through the many successional stages of a forest (Maser, Tarrant, Trappe
and Franklin, 1988, pg41-par4).
135. A fallen tree interacts with its environment through internal
surface areas. A newly fallen tree is not yet a habitat for plants or most
animals. But once organisms gain entrance to the interior they consume and
break down wood cells and fibers. Larger organisms – mites, collembolans,
spiders, millipedes, centipedes, amphibians, and small mammals must await
the creation of internal spaces before they can enter. The flow of
plant and animal populations, air, water, and essential elements between
a fallen tree and its surroundings increases as decomposition continues (Maser,
Tarrant, Trappe and Franklin, 1988, pg42-par2). The point, if you please,
is that when you remove the masses you disrupt, deplete thus causing
dysfunction (leading to Death by means of Killing) the designed essential
environmental health needs of plant, animal populations, air, water and essential
elements. Than man claims that the system is not returning to the conditions
prior logging (given many fancy names), then points the finger to deer claiming
they are responsible for the problem. The problem is that things big and
small are leaving this planet. As latter statements mention, much needed
material for health is removed in logging which would have benefited the
deer and system. Why not call the forest a deer system (heart – lungs – liver
– kidneys – feet = parts of system) Man is the only known, organism
that makes decisions regarding trees out of the ignorance of tree biology
and than adds insult to injury.
136. Decaying, fallen trees contribute to long-term accumulation of
soil organic matter, partly because the carbon constituents of well-decayed
wood are 80-90 percent residual lignin and humus. Decaying wood in the soil
and establishment of conifer seedlings and mycorrhizal fungi on dry sites
are positively correlated. Fallen trees also create and maintain diversity
in forest communities. Soil properties of pits and mounds differ from those
of surrounding soil; such chemical and topographic diversity in turn affects
forest regeneration processes. All this, especially large fallen trees
that reside on the forest floor for long periods, adds to spatial, chemical,
and biotic diversity of forest soils, and to the processes that maintain
long-term forest productivity (Maser, Tarrant, Trappe and Franklin, 1988,
137. Forest floor diversity is partly maintained by windthrown trees
that create a pit-and-mound topography as they are uprooted (Maser, Tarrant,
Trappe and Franklin, 1988, pg45-fig2.7). Coarse woody debris functions as
seed beds or nurse logs for some trees species and many species of bryophytes,
fungi, and lichens, and some flowering plants (Table 7.6) (Samuelsson et
al. 1994; D.F. Fraser, pers. comm., 1995; E.C. Lea, pers. comm., 1995) (Voller
and Harrison, 1998).
138. ...dying and symplastless wood provides one of the two or three
greatest resources for animal species in a natural forest. ..if fallen timber
and slightly decayed trees are removed the whole system is gravely impoverished
of perhaps more than a fifth of its fauna (Maser and Trappe, 1984).
( The USFS calls removal (killing) - “reforestation”).
139. Checklist of plants and animals – There are few checklists of
either plants or animals that inhabit fallen Douglas fir in Pacific Northwest.
[Let alone in other areas with other species in the USA – (Termed as profiles
or unique features)]. No checklist of the microorganisms in fallen
trees of western old-growth forest is available [I know of none in the east.];
the subject has hardly been studied. (Higher fungi have been cataloged
for many kinds of so-called rotten wood in Europe.) Lawton listed the
mosses that occur on so called rotten wood or stumps in the Pacific Northwest.
Deyrup (1975, 1976) has done a thorough job with insects and has identified
about 300 species associated with fallen Douglas fir. The only published
checklist for vertebrates that use fallen trees is for northeastern Oregon
(Maser and others 1979 not listed in references here). (Maser
and Trappe, 1984, page 18-par 2)
140. NATIONAL WOOD FIBER NEEDS indicate substantial increases in demand
for wood fiber - based products. This demand has resulted in increased efforts
to remove all available fiber at harvesting sites. Intensive fiber removal
or intense wildfire potentially reduces the parent materials (duff and wood
residues) available for the production of organic reserves in forest soils.
This reserve, primarily in the form of humus, decayed wood, and charcoal,
has been shown critical to the support of both nonsymbiotic nitrogen fixing
and ectomycorrhizal activities in forest soils of western Montana.
Harvest and fire-caused reductions of organic materials on and in northern
forest soils have been linked to reforestation problems (NOT DEER!). This
study was undertaken to provide a preliminary estimate of the impact of varying
amounts and kinds of soil organic matter on ectomycorrhizal development in
mature western Montana forests (Harvey, Jurgensen and Larsen, 1981).
There is other data available that shows where CWD increases, so called browsing
141. Conclusion: What purpose and need is there, that the capacity
and ability, of CWD, to reduce problems, which are blamed on animals such
as deer, go unobserved in this “Burn and Clearcut Project”? We know
many animals such as deer and bear use CWD for food supply. “Harvest and
fire-caused reductions of organic materials on and in northern forest soils
have been linked to reforestation problems (Harvey, Jurgensen and Larsen,
Text & Graphics Copyright © 2004 Keslick &
Son Modern Arboriculture
Please report web site problems, comments and words of
interest, not understood.
John A. Keslick, Jr.