2. Coarse Woody Debris – Water / Moisture
42. What makes a healthy tree or plant? The availability in the proper
proportions of the right "STEW" - Space, Temperature, Elements and Water.
And the energy of the sun will be used optimally making a tree into the most
massive, longest-lived and efficient system on earth. Everything is
43. Water - Too much or too little can cause serious problems. The
USFS claims drought has caused mortality leaving masses of symplastless trees.
Actually lack of water during dry times is more accurate. Too often
cause and effect get mixed up.
44. I have learned, that is all you see now. What you do not
see is the other flora and fauna, that have died as the result of the lack
of coarse woody debris (CWD). The CWD would have provided water during
the past dry times, just for starters.
45. Water is a limiting factor. Consider what happens to a dog
without water for two days locked on a porch. Say we search for the
presence of a dog at this dryer site 2 years later? No dog.
46. Now, do we conclude dogs cannot survive on porch or do we consider
that some type of water reservoir for dryer times, that would enhance the
area (system) thus making it suitable for the survival of dogs, are needed
47. 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 3).
48. Some of the conclusions, in the “Burn and Clearcut Project”, remind
me of TREE PITHY POINT # 376 “The researcher took all the legs off a flea.
He then shouted to the flea to jump. The flea just lay there. The report
stated that fleas lose their ability to hear when you remove their legs.
Don't laugh. I have seen research reports worse than that.” (Shigo, 1999
49. Many phone conversations with the US Fish and Wildlife Service
(USFWS) revealed that they did not and do not specifically recommend any
CWD be killed (removed) as a treatment for the “Burn and Clearcut Project”
with respect to wildlife or Threatened and Endangered Species. In this
project the USFS claims killing, removing, cutting down out, etc., the trees,
is for the wildlife and or threatened and endangered species and leads people
to believe they have recommendations from USFWS.
50. In order to increase the health of the system the health of the
system, which, as shown such an increase of “mortality”, due to drought or
during dryer times.
51. A provision should be provided, wherein the plants as well as the
animals, moisture needs are maintained by the system itself.
52. As well known, there will be so-called droughts and or periods
of dryer times in the future.
53. A healthy system in place will help in handling this unfortunate
54. Something to keep in mind. Reports from some countries indicate
an abundance of soluble nitrogen compounds in runoff water and even in ground
water. This is a strong indication that the carbon-nitrogen ratio has been
disrupted in the soil. It is well established from studies of the physiology
of fungal parasitism that the degree of parasitism is often determined by
the carbon-nitrogen ratio. It is probably similar for other organisms (Shigo,
55. A snag may accumulate moisture – carry essential elements and have
a higher essential element capital when it falls than does a tree with symplast
(Maser and Trappe, 1984, pg 19-par 2).
56. CWD plays are an important role in the functioning of ecosystems.
Its functional role in stream ecosystems has been well established and many
stream restoration projects are underway. Its role in terrestrial ecosystems
is still not completely understood (Edmonds and Marra, 1999).
57. When thinking of, and dealing with, diversity in a forest, conventional
vision focuses on structure and habitat. Diversity, however, has another
dimension-one that is only now being perceived: function. The basic components
of structural and functional diversity are inseparably interwoven in a forest.
A broadened philosophical view of management - a forest versus a commodity
- is necessary if certain structurally related functions, such as retention
of water and cycling of essential elements in large, fallen trees, are to
be options in managed forests of the future (Maser and Trappe, 1984, pg49-par4).
58. Note: The “Burn and Clearcut Project” is promoted as
an area negatively effected by drought. This would be a lack of water
during dry times. Removing more logs which wound become coarse woody
debris and claiming it to be a treatment to improve drought tolerance of
this system is absurd. A tourniquet will stop a nosebleed!
59. Symplastless trees, especially with soil contact act as a storehouse
for moisture providing moisture for plants and animals during dry times such
as summer drought, as it may be called (Page-Dumroese, Harvey, Jurgensen
and Graham, 1991).
60. During the winter months, decayed logs, act like a sponge to absorb
water and retains much of the water throughout the following growing season.
This water would be a survival feature during so called drought (Page-Dumroese,
Harvey, Jurgensen and Graham, 1991).
61. Logs with soil contact play key roles with the cation exchange
capacity, water - holding capacity, bulk density, nutrient budgets,
essential elements and erosion potential (Page-Dumroese, Harvey, Jurgensen
and Graham, 1991).
62. Coarse woody debris has been identified as playing several important
roles in the functioning of the region's forests. In southwest Oregon, brown-cubical-rotted
CWD acts as a perched water reservoir, the spongy decayed wood being able
to hold over twice its own weight in water. This material thus can be a major
source of moisture for fungi and roots well into the summer drought that
characterizes the region (Amaranthus, Trappe and Bednar,
1994). Animals as well, if you please.
63. Numerous physical and chemical changes occur as fallen trees decay:
(1) density decreases; (2) water content increases until decay classes III
and IV are reached, at which time the water content stabilizes, mineral and
nitrogen contents increase; (4) cellulose content decreases; (5) relative
lignin content increases: (6) C:N ratio decreases, internal temperature fluctuations
are buffered as the fallen tree comes in contact with the ground (Maser,
Tarrant, Trappe and Franklin, 1988, pg44-par1).
64. Large Stumps from old-growth trees are a finite resource, and their
loss from the forest affects both soil shear strength and watershed hydrology
(Maser, Tarrant, Trappe and Franklin, 1988, pg 45-fig.2.8).
65. CWD affects temperature as well as moisture, which can have a benefit
for certain beneficial fungi (Amaranthus, Trappe and Bednar, 1994).
66. Large, fallen trees in various stages of decay contribute much-needed
diversity to terrestrial and aquatic habitats in western forests. When most
biological activity in soil is limited by low moisture availability in summer,
the fallen tree-soil
interface offers a relatively cool, moist habitat for animals and a substrate
for microbial and root activity. Intensified utilization and management can
deprive future forests of large, fallen trees. The impact of this loss on
habitat diversity and on long-term forest productivity must be determined
because management needs sound information on which to base resource
management decisions (Maser and Trappe, 1984, Abstract-par2).
67. The proportion of a tree in contact with the soil affects the water-holding
capacity of the wood (Graham 1925). In our studies of fallen trees in old-growth
Douglas-fir forests, the moisture retention through the summer drought was
best in the side of trees in contact with the soil. The moisture-holding
capacity of the wood affects in turn its internal processes and therefore
the succession of plants and animals. In addition, the orientation of a fallen
tree to aspect and compass direction and the amount and duration of sunlight
it receives, drastically affect its internal processes and biotic community
(Maser and Trappe, 1984 pg 4-par3).
68. A snag may accumulate moisture – carried essential elements and
have a higher essential element capital when it falls than does a tree with
symplast (Maser and Trappe, 1984, pg 19-par 2).
69. Colonization of decomposing wood by animals helps microbes to enter
interior surfaces of the wood and creates additional openings for entry of
water and essential elements; and penetration of the wood by roots of trees,
such as western hemlock, facilitates entry by mycorrhizal fungi (Maser and
Trappe, 1984, pg19-par4).
70. Internal succession is also influenced by temperature, moisture,
and stage of decay. A class I fallen tree, for example, has many readily
available essential elements that support opportunistic colonizers. As decay
proceeds its moisture holding capacity increase but essential elements become
less available because either they have been used or they remain locked in
the more decay resistant compounds of the wood. Ultimately, the rapidly
growing opportunists are succeeded by organisms with more sophisticated enzyme
systems, and decay continues (Maser and Trappe, 1984, pg37-par2).
71. A fallen tree oriented along the contour of a slope. The upslope
side is filled with humus and inorganic material that allows invertebrates
and small vertebrates to tunnel alongside. The downslope side provides protective
cover for larger vertebrates. When under a closed canopy, such trees are
also saturated with water and act as a reservoir during the dry part of the
year (Maser, Tarrant, Trappe and Franklin, 1988, pg45-fig2.9).
72. So called rotten wood is also critical as substrate for ectomycorrhizal
formation. In one forest which contained a coniferous stand of trees (Eastern
Hemlock and White Pine are conifers), over 95 percent of all active mycorrhizae
were in organic matter of which 21 percent were in decayed wood. In
another study in the northern Rocky Mountains, decayed wood in soil was important.
In moist, mesic, and arid habitat types (Harvey et al. 1979); it was the
most frequent substrate for active ectomycorrhizae on the dry site, probably
because of high moisture levels in the wood. Mycorrhizal fungi can colonize
logs presumably using them as sources of water, essential elements and nutrients
(Franklin, Cromack, Kermit, et al. others, 1981).
73. Aubry et al. (1988) found that some species of salamander were
most abundant around CWD. Dupuis (1993) concluded that salamander populations
in logged areas were limited by available moist microhabitats, primarily
because of a lack of large logs in intermediate and advanced stages of decay
(Voller and Harrison, 1998).
74. Much is discussed on wetlands and water in this reference (Voller
and Harrison, 1998).
75. In both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, symplastless wood functions
as a reservoir of moisture, ameliorating drought conditions and providing
a 'perched water table' (Triska and Cromack 1979) (Voller and Harrison, 1998).
76. Conclusion: What purpose and need is there, that the capacity
and ability, of CWD, to provide water / moisture for fauna and flora during
dryer times go unobserved, such as the case in this “Burn and Clearcut Project”?
Coarse woody debris / ecoart nurse logs play a key role in providing the
requirements of water/moisture for survival of species of animals as well
as plants, be they listed as threatened and endangered or not. This
function is plays a key role during hot, drier times. To fully
comprehend the importance one must consider time. This function must
be thoroughly considered before making a decision to remove this function
from the system or not.
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