Graduation Date

Spring 2020

Document Type

Thesis

Program

Master of Science degree with a major in Natural Resources, option Forestry, Watershed, & Wildland Sciences

Committee Chair Name

Dr. Lucy Kerhoulas

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Dr. Nicholas Kerhoulas

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Third Committee Member Name

Dr. Erin Kelly

Third Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Subject Categories

Forestry

Abstract

Following 20th century logging, much of the natural coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) range consists of dense second-growth stands with slow tree growth and low biodiversity. There is a landscape-scale effort in much of coastal northern California to increase tree growth rates and ecosystem biodiversity via thinning treatments, thereby hopefully accelerating the development of old-growth forest characteristics. Redwood National Park (RNP) has been experimenting with thinning in these forest types since the 1970s. Given the interesting history of logging and restoration in RNP and the future plans for widespread thinning in this region, my thesis examined the effects of land management on forest productivity, biodiversity, and ecocultural resources. The first chapter provides a basic history of land management within the North Coast region. The second chapter investigates how redwood physiology, redwood growth, and forest biodiversity respond to restoration treatments. My Chapter 2 investigations found that thinning second-growth redwood forests 1) does not meaningfully influence tree water status, 2) increases tree gas exchange in the short-term, 3) increases tree growth in the long-term, 4) increases understory plant diversity, and 5) does not affect bird or mammal diversity. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that thinning second-growth redwood forests has the potential to accelerate the development of old-growth characteristics. This verification of the efficacy of restoration treatments is important information for land managers, as plans are currently underway to apply these treatments at the landscape-scale. Ideally, this thesis can provide useful baseline data to aid future assessments of long-term forest responses to contemporary restoration efforts.

Citation Style

FOR. ECOL. MANAG.

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