Patch formation and maintenance in an old-growth hemlock-hardwood forest

Thumbnail Image

Persistent link to this item

View Statistics

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Patch formation and maintenance in an old-growth hemlock-hardwood forest

Published Date






Cause of patch formation was investigated on a 7.2 ha study area in Sylvania Wilderness Area, a primary forest remnant in Upper Michigan comprising a mosaic of hemlock, sugar maple, and mixed-forest patches. Spatial autocorrelation analysis of the stem map indicated that, although most species pairs have a neutral association between canopy trees and understory trees of other species, hemlock and sugar maple canopy trees both have strong positive self association and negative reciprocal association with each other. No species pairs have a positive reciprocal association on regeneration with each other. MOSAIC, a Markov simulation model in which transition probabilities depend on neighborhood species composition, shows that the negative reciprocal association between hemlock and sugar maple of the intensity observed in this study, could lead to spatial separation into monodominant patches over long time periods (3000 yr). The mixed-forest patches are along spatial continua of varying steepness between sugar maple and hemlock patches. Interactions sugar maple and hemlock overstory and understory trees, along with the pattern of invasion of hemlock, provide a reasonable explanation for the patch structure. Pedological, topographical, and disturbance history differences do not coincide with the location of patches within upland forests on the study area.



Related to



Series/Report Number

Funding information

Isbn identifier

Doi identifier

Previously Published Citation

Frelich, Lee E., et al. "Patch Formation and Maintenance in an Old-Growth Hemlock-Hardwood Forest." Ecology 74.2 (1993): 513-27.

Suggested citation

Frelich, Lee E.; Calcote, Randy R.; Davis, Margaret B.; Pastor, John. (1993). Patch formation and maintenance in an old-growth hemlock-hardwood forest. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

Content distributed via the University Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor. By using these files, users agree to the Terms of Use. Materials in the UDC may contain content that is disturbing and/or harmful. For more information, please see our statement on harmful content in digital repositories.