Forest disturbances cause changes in site conditions and forest structure which in turn influences the species composition of the site. This study utilized Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) annual plot data collected between 1999 and 2014, in Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin to analyze the impacts of disturbance across the region. The study also analyzed the accuracy of the Forest Vegetation Simulator- Lake States (FVS-LS) diameter growth equation in disturbed and non-disturbed forests. Results showed that animal and weather disturbances were the most common disturbance agents in the region, while human-caused disturbance (excluding timber harvesting) resulted in the largest losses in live and standing dead tree basal area. Results indicated that the FVS-LS diameter growth equations performed well on average, but when the data were grouped by species or disturbance, the model equation was rarely validated using equivalence tests. Findings highlight the importance of incorporating forest disturbance into tree and stand growth and yield projections.
University of Minnesota M.S. thesis. June 2016. Major: Natural Resources Science and Management. Advisor: Matthew Russell. 1 computer file (PDF); iv, 87 pages.
Assessing the impacts of forest disturbances on stand and individual tree growth in the Lake States.
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