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Decay dynamics of coarsewood habitat in old-growth spruce and pine stands

Eileen L. Jones and Lori D. Daniels Department of Geography, University of British Columbia


Coarsewood Pathways


Terrestrial Coarsewood Functions substrate for plants and fungus

geomorphology

wildlife habitat

habitat for invertebrates and microorganisms nutrient and carbon cycles


Research Questions 1. (a) How abundant are spruce and pine snags and logs on the landscape? (b) What is their distribution of decay classes and wildlife habitat functions?

2. (a) When did the snags and logs die? (b) How does time since death vary among decay classes?

Conservation and management implications?


Methods

PA, PB

SA

PC, PD PE SC, SD, SE

SB Hinton


Methods


Coarsewood Census SNAGS Spruce: 508 ± 188 per ha Pine: 298 ± 259 per ha

LOGS Spruce: 468 ± 113 per ha Pine: 545 ± 73 per ha


Coarsewood Census

SNAGS

Percent

80 (a) Site SA (n=34)

(f) Site PA (n=38)

60 40 20 0

Percent

80

(b) Site SB (n=91)

(g) Site PB (n=53)

(c) Site SC (n=40)

(h) Site PC (n=9)

(d) Site SD (n=15)

(i) Site PD (n=14)

(e) Site SE (n=23)

(j) Site PE (n=5)

60 40 20 0

Percent

80 60 40 20 0

Percent

80 60 40 20 0

Percent

80 60 40 20 0

3

4 5 Decay Class

6

3

4 5 Decay Class

6


Coarsewood Census

LOGS

Percent

80 (a) Site SA (n=37)

(f) Site PA (n=43)

60 40 20 0

Percent

80 (b) Site SB (n=31)

(g) Site PB (n=50)

60 40 20 0

Percent

80 (c) Site SC (n=34)

(h) Site PC (n=49)

60 40 20 0

Percent

80

(d) Site SD (n=53)

(i) Site PD (n=39)

(e) Site SE (n=32)

(j) Site PE (n=37)

60 40 20 0

Percent

80 60 40 20 0

1

2 3 4 Decay Class

5

1

2 3 4 Decay Class

5


co nc

sp

es

s

g

ts

rk

he

ac

rc

in

or

ba

ed

pe

fe

d

g

le

in

ea

nt

e

s

es

tie

i ti

vi

pp

os

su

/l o

st

ks

ne

ac

av

ca

lc

g

ia

tin

nt

is

te

hu

cr

SPRUCE ex

po

Frequency

Snag Census: Wildlife Use

50

40 D e ca y C la ss 3 D e ca y C la ss 4 D e ca y C la ss 5

30

20

10

0


Snag Census: Wildlife Use decay-softened inner wood for cavity excavation

50 D e ca y C la ss 3 D e ca y C la ss 4 D e ca y C la ss 5

Frequency

40

30

20

10

es

s

ac

he ea nc co

hu

nt

in

le

g

d

pe

sp

rc

in ed fe

or pp ne

st

su

g

ts

rk ba e os /l o

ks ac

is

tin cr

SPRUCE

ex

po

te

nt

ia

g

lc

ca

av

vi

i ti

tie

s

es

0

http://fishandgame.idaho.gov


Snag Census: Wildlife Use cracks or loose bark for reproduction and resting

50 D e ca y C la ss 3 D e ca y C la ss 4 D e ca y C la ss 5

Frequency

40

30

20

10

es

s

ac

he ea nc co

hu

nt

in

le

g

d

pe

sp

rc

in ed fe

or pp ne

st

su

g

ts

rk ba e os /l o

ks ac

is

tin cr

SPRUCE

ex

po

te

nt

ia

g

lc

ca

av

vi

i ti

tie

s

es

0

http://fireflyforest.net


Snag Census: Wildlife Use large branches or broken tops to support large nests

50 D e ca y C la ss 3 D e ca y C la ss 4 D e ca y C la ss 5

Frequency

40

30

20

10

es

s

ac

he ea nc co

hu

nt

in

le

g

d

pe

sp

rc

in ed fe

or pp ne

st

su

g

ts

rk ba e os /l o

ks ac

is

tin cr

SPRUCE

ex

po

te

nt

ia

g

lc

ca

av

vi

i ti

tie

s

es

0

http://ecotravel.ctaudubon.org


PINE

co n

g

in g

50

40

sp ac es

rc he s

fe ed pe ed

nt in ce al

hu

10

Frequency

20

te nt ia lc av i ti ex es is ti n g ca cr vi ac ti e ks s /l o os e ba rk ne st su pp or ts

sp ac es

pe rc he s

le d

in g

fe ed in g

40 Decay Class 3 Decay Class 4 Decay Class 5

po

SPRUCE co nc ea

hu nt

po te nt ia lc av i ti ex es is ti n g ca vi cr ti e ac s ks /l o os e ba rk ne st su pp or ts

Frequency

Snag Census: Wildlife Use

50 Decay Class 3 Decay Class 4 Decay Class 5

30

30

20

0

10

0


Log Census: Wildlife Use

200 Decay Class 1 Decay Class 2 Decay Class 3 Decay Class 4

Frequency

150

100

50

SPRUCE

fe e

di

ng

s la ve l tra

sp a ng lo

ne

ce s

s pa ce ls sm al

la

rg

e

sp ac

es

0


Log Census: Wildlife Use small concealed spaces for reproduction and resting 200 Decay Class 1 Decay Class 2 Decay Class 3 Decay Class 4

Frequency

150

100

50

SPRUCE

fe e

di

ng

s la ve l tra

sp a ng lo

ne

ce s

s pa ce ls sm al

la

rg

e

sp ac

es

0

http://www.premiumpestmanagement.com


Log Census: Wildlife Use exposed, raised travel lanes 200 Decay Class 1 Decay Class 2 Decay Class 3 Decay Class 4

Frequency

150

100

50

SPRUCE

fe e

di

ng

s la ve l tra

sp a ng lo

ne

ce s

s pa ce ls sm al

la

rg

e

sp ac

es

0

http://www.crcd.org


Log Census: Wildlife Use invertebrates in wood 200 Decay Class 1 Decay Class 2 Decay Class 3 Decay Class 4

Frequency

150

100

50

SPRUCE

fe e

di

ng

s la ve l tra

sp a ng lo

ne

ce s

s pa ce ls sm al

la

rg

e

sp ac

es

0

http://fishandgame.idaho.gov


Log Census: Wildlife Use 200 Decay Class 1 Decay Class 2 Decay Class 3 Decay Class 4

200 Decay Class 1 Decay Class 2 Decay Class 3 Decay Class 4

100

150

100

50

PINE

in g ed fe

la ne s ve l tr a

sp ac es lo ng

sp ac es sm al l

rg e

sp ac es

0

la

SPRUCE

fe ed in g

an es t ra ve ll

sp ac es lo ng

es sp ac sm al l

sp ac es

0

Frequency

50

la rg e

Frequency

150


Year of Death (YOD) = calendar year of outer ring

Time Since Death = 2008 – YOD = snag or log age

“old” = snag or log that has been dead for a long time


Time Since Death spruce snags (n=37)

pine snags (n=40)

Frequency

10 8 6 4 2 0 0

40

80

120

160

200

0

Frequency

spruce logs (n=44)

80

120

160

200

Time Since Death (years since 2008)

Time Since Death (years since 2008)

10

40

pine logs (n=46)

8 6 4 2 0 0

40

80

120

160

200

Time Since Death (years since 2008)

0

40

80

120

160

200

Time Since Death (years since 2008)


Time Since Death: Variability Across Decay Classes

Time Since Death (years prior to 2008)

B n=39 150

100

50

logs

C n=21

200 Time Since Death (years prior to 2008)

snags 200

A n=17

C n=40 C n=27

150

100

B n=17

50 A n=6

0

0 Decay Class 3

Decay Class 4

SNAGS

Decay Class 5

Decay Class 1 Decay Class 2 Decay Class 3 Decay Class 4

LOGS


SNAGS Decay Class 3 Decay Class 4 Decay Class 5

150

LOGS

g

an es

fe ed in

tra ve ll

sp ac es

150

g

an es

lo ng

sp ac es

Frequency

Decay Class 3 Decay Class 4 Decay Class 5

fe ed in

tra ve ll

50

sm al l

0

sp ac es

10

sp ac es

sp ac es

pe rc he s

fe ed in g

10

lo ng

20

la rg e

g

ed

in ce al

hu nt

20

sp ac es

es

30

sm al l

40

co n

lo os e

es

ba rk ne st su pp or ts

cr ac ks /

ca vi ti

lc av i ti

40

sp ac es

30

Frequency

ia

ex is ti n g

en t

Frequency 50

la rg e

fe ed hu in nt g in g pe co rc nc he ea s le d sp ac es

en ti a lc av i ti ex es is ti n g ca cr vi ac ti e ks s /l o os e ba rk ne st su pp or ts

PINE

po t

po t

SPRUCE

Frequency

REMINDER Coarsewood Census: Wildlife Use 200 Decay Class 1 Decay Class 2 Decay Class 3 Decay Class 4

100

50

0

200 Decay Class 1 Decay Class 2 Decay Class 3 Decay Class 4

100

50

0

0


Snag Decay Class 2 C n=21

Time Since Death (years prior to 2008)

200 B n=39 150

100

50

A n=17

0 Decay Class 3

Decay Class 4

Decay Class 5

Time Since Death: 3-19 years

Time Since Death: 7-34 years

11% of habitat function:

1% of habitat function:

• cavities for reproduction and resting

• hunting perches

• nest supports


Snag Decay Class 4 Time Since Death (years prior to 2008)

200 B n=39

C n=21

150

100

50

A n=17

0 Decay Class 3

Decay Class 4

Decay Class 5

Time Since Death: 54-180 years

Time Since Death: 40-142 years

8% of habitat function:

51% of habitat function:

• cavities for reproduction and resting • feeding substrates

• cavities for reproduction and resting • nest supports • feeding substrates • hunting perches


Snag Decay Class 3 C n=21

Time Since Death (years prior to 2008)

200 B n=39 150

100

50

A n=17

0 Decay Class 3

Decay Class 4

Decay Class 5

Time Since Death: 2-168 years

Time Since Death: 6-64 years

73% of habitat function:

48% of habitat function:

• cavities for reproduction and resting

• cavities for reproduction and resting

• nest supports

• nest supports

• feeding substrates

• feeding substrates

• hunting perches

• hunting perches

• concealed spaces

• concealed spaces


Log Decay Class 2 logs Time Since Death (years prior to 2008)

200

C n=40 C n=27

150

100

B n=17

50 A n=6 0 Decay Class 1 Decay Class 2 Decay Class 3 Decay Class 4

Time Since Death: 0-24 years

Time Since Death: 6-76 years

7% of habitat function:

8% of habitat function:

• large concealed spaces

• large concealed spaces


Log Decay Class 4 logs Time Since Death (years prior to 2008)

200

C n=40 C n=27

150

100

B n=17

50 A n=6 0 Decay Class 1 Decay Class 2 Decay Class 3 Decay Class 4

Time Since Death: 20-125 years

Time Since Death: 23-133 years

26% of habitat function:

28% of habitat function:

• small concealed spaces

• small concealed spaces

• long concealed spaces

• feeding substrates

• feeding substrates


Log Decay Class 3 logs Time Since Death (years prior to 2008)

200

C n=40 C n=27

150

100

B n=17

50 A n=6 0 Decay Class 1 Decay Class 2 Decay Class 3 Decay Class 4

Time Since Death: 15-175 years

Time Since Death: 12-95 years

65% of habitat function:

64% of habitat function:

• small concealed spaces

• small concealed spaces

• large concealed spaces

• large concealed spaces

• travel lanes

• travel lanes

• feeding substrate

• feeding substrate


Habitat Conservation

intermediate decay classes = most function 94% logs, 33% snags at least one function

.... 91% logs have more than one function ....only 11% snags have more than one function


Habitat Conservation

• abundance and diversity • rare functions


Management Implications • long-term planning • decision-support tool • old forests


Acknowledgements

Evan Henderson, Amy Nicoll, Julia Maddison, Kylie McLeod, Abha Parajulee, Raphael Chavardes Lori Daniels, Valerie LeMay, R. Dan Moore

Hlp 2009 12 prsnttn infosession decaydynamicsofcoarsewoodhabitatinoldgrowthspruceandpinestands  

http://foothillsri.ca/sites/default/files/null/HLP_2009_12_Prsnttn_InfoSession_DecayDynamicsofCoarsewoodHabitatinOldGrowthSpruceandPineStand...

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