Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Proactive management is required for cedar

Recent paper published in Forest Ecology and Management show that active management is required to maintain cedar in coastal forests, especially on the north/central coast; this seems to be a definite requirement to increase cedar relative composition and maintain it as a viable component to rotation, usually set at 80-100 years.

Long-term recovery of forest structure and composition after harvesting in the coastal temperate rainforests of northern British Columbia 

Phil LePage, Allen Banner



• We compared recovery of 2nd growth coastal BC forests with old-growth conditions.
• Old-growth tree structure developed more rapidly on rich sites than on medium sites.
• Stands less than 100 years old showed 41–55% similarity in structure to old-growth.
• Tree species composition is a driving factor in distinguishing age classes.
• Lack of western redcedar was apparent in all younger naturally regenerated forests.


We examined young harvested (41–100) and naturally disturbed mature (101–250), and old (>250) temperate rainforests on the central and north coast of British Columbia to quantify the recovery rates of tree size, density, and species composition of young harvested stands towards old-growth condition. Significant variations in recovery rates were noted due to differences in site productivity. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMS) ordinations, Multi-response Permutation Procedure (MRPP) summary statistics, and Sorensen’s similarity coefficients (SC) all indicate moderate levels of similarity between young and old stands. Rich sites show greater similarity between young and old forests (SC = 55%) than do medium sites (SC = 41%), indicating more rapid recovery. Differences in tree species composition, especially for western redcedar, were apparent among young and older forests on all sites. We believe that proactive management is required to ensure that western redcedar, an ecologically, culturally, and economically valuable tree species, is maintained as a significant component in the managed second-growth forests of central and north coast British Columbia. Our results indicate that second-growth forests, while not as structurally developed as old-growth, are developing some ecologically important structural characteristics at relatively young ages (80–100 years) and as such, contribute towards ecological integrity and biodiversity of the coastal temperate rainforest landscape.


  • Ecosystem recovery
  • Stand structure
  • Western redcedar
  • Second-growth forests
  • Hypermaritime

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