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Research article2017Peer reviewedOpen access

Red Alder-Conifer Stands in Alaska: An Example of Mixed Species Management to Enhance Structural and Biological Complexity

Deal, Robert L.; Orlikowska, Ewa H.; D'Amore, David V.; Hennon, Paul E.

Abstract

There is worldwide interest in managing forests to improve biodiversity, enhance ecosystem services and assure long-term sustainability of forest resources. An increasingly important goal of forest management is to increase stand diversity and improve wildlife and aquatic habitat. Well-planned silvicultural systems containing a mixture of broadleaf-conifer species have potential to enhance stand diversity and provide other ecosystem services earlier than typical even-aged conifer plantations. Here, we use the example of mixed Sitka spruce/western hemlock and red alder in young, managed stands in southeast Alaska to achieve these goals. We briefly describe the silvics of Sitka spruce, western hemlock and red alder plantations as pure conifer stands or pure broadleaf stands. Then, we synthesize studies of mixed red alder-Sitka spruce/western hemlock stands in southeast Alaska and present their potential for improving stand structural complexity, biodiversity and other ecosystem services over pure conifer forests. Finally, we discuss some of the opportunities and potential tradeoffs for managing mixed broadleaf-conifer stands for providing a number of natural resources and the influence of these broadleaf-conifer forests on ecosystem linkages and processes.

Keywords

conifer plantations; broadleaf-conifer stands; ecosystem services; forest management; Alaska

Published in

Forests
2017, Volume: 8, number: 4, article number: 131
Publisher: MDPI AG

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG15 Life on land

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Forest Science

    Publication identifier

    DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/f8040131

    Permanent link to this page (URI)

    https://res.slu.se/id/publ/92558