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Pacific Northwest Forested Wetland Literature Survey Cooke Scientific Services, Inc. Seattle, Washington

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Presentation on theme: "Pacific Northwest Forested Wetland Literature Survey Cooke Scientific Services, Inc. Seattle, Washington"— Presentation transcript:

1 Pacific Northwest Forested Wetland Literature Survey Cooke Scientific Services, Inc. Seattle, Washington

2 Funding and Review Organizations Cooperative Monitoring Evaluation and Research Committee (CMER) Supplied grant Wetland Scientific Advisory Group (WETSAG) Project oversight Department of Natural Resources Grant administrator

3 Timber Management Practices PNW - Trends oForested wetlands may be harvested similarly to upland areas. oNo restrictions to tree removal in non-bog forested wetlands. oWA Forest Practices Act (1990) emphasizes reducing impacts to hydrology and soils in forested wetlands but does not impose restrictions. oCommon timber management impacts: Removal of nutrients Reduction of soil productivity Increased soil temperature Hydrologic changes Changes in water yield and stream flow patterns Reduction of available wildlife habitat

4 Timber Management in PNW oEven Aged Management (Clear-cutting) Is the dominant harvest method in W. Washington and Oregon Results in little or no difference in tree age within a stand Alters forest community and habitat Shortens growth cycle Decreases the presence or absence of snags oUneven Aged Management (Selective Cutting) Results in 3 or more tree ages within a stand Has no associated rotation age Results in a multilevel forest of different sized trees Provides habitat for various species throughout their life cycle Provides stand-scale wildlife habitat with more spatial homogeneity

5 PNW Forested Wetland Characterization oClassify by Wetland Type (montane, riverine) oClassify by Soils (organic, mineral) oClassify by Vegetation Community Associations Organic Bog Mineral oClassify by Hydrologic Regime oClassify Wildlife Associations

6 Classification of Forested Wetlands in Washington and Oregon (Johnson and O’Neil 2001) oMontane Coniferous-Wetlands oWestside Riparian-Wetlands oEastside Riparian-Wetlands

7 Montane Coniferous Wetlands (Washington and Oregon) oSteep slopes oMountains oFlat valley bottoms o2,000-9,500 feet msl oPFO or floodplains with snow pack oAnnual precipitation 35 to 200 inches oFound adjacent to streams and herbaceous wetlands or as small patches within a matrix of upland mixed conifer forest (Johnson O’Neil 2001).

8 Eastside Riparian Forested Wetlands o100-9,500 msl oAlong streams and rivers oWithin 100-200 feet of stream corridor or water source oPrimary hydrologic input overbank flow Photo Source: Rosgen 1996

9 Westside Riparian Forested Wetlands oFlat, gently sloping, or steep terrain oCommon below 3,000 feet msl but found as high as 5,500 msl. oPrimary hydrologic input overbank flow, or perennial flowing water Photo Source: Rosgen 1996

10 PNW Forested Wetland Community Types (Kunze 1994) Pinus contorta/Ledum groenlandicum/Sphagnum spp. Pinus monticola/Ledum groenlandicum/Sphagnum spp. Tsuga heterophylla/Ledum groenlandicum/Sphagnum spp. Tsuga heterophylla/Sphagnum spp.

11 PNW Forested Bog Community Types (Kunze 1994) Pinus contorta/Ledum groenlandicum/Sphagnum spp. Pinus contorta-Thuja plicata/ Myrica gale/Sphagnum spp. Thuja plicata-Tsuga heterophylla/Gaultheria shallon/Lysichiton americanum/Sphagnum spp. Tsuga heterophylla/Ledum groenlandicum/Sphagnum spp.

12 Vegetation Communities Associated with Organic Soils Southern PNW (Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, and southern British Columbia) Colonized by shrubs, herbs, and sparse tree stands Lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) Western red cedar (Thuja plicata) Western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) Western white pine (Pinus monticola) Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) Northern PNW (northern British Columbia and Alaska) Colonized by stunted tree stands Black spruce (Picea mariana) Tamarack (Larix laricina) Western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) Lodgepole pine ( Pinus contorta ) Alaska cedar (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis) Western red cedar (Thuja plicata) Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) Mountain hemlock (Tsuga maertensiana )

13 Vegetation Associated with Mineral Soils Southern PNW Western hemlock ( Tsuga heterophylla ) Western red cedar ( Thuja plicata ) Sitka spruce ( Picea sitchensis ) Lodgepole pine ( Pinus contorta ) Black cottonwood ( Populus balsmifera ) Red alder ( Alnus rubra ) Paper birch ( Betula papyrifera ) Oregon ash ( Fraxinus latifolia ) Quaking aspen ( Populus tremuloides )

14 Vegetation Communities Associated with Mineral Soils Northern PNW Black spruce ( Picea marina ) Tamarack ( Larix laricina ) Lodgepole pine ( Pinus contorta ) White spruce ( Picea glauca ) White/Engelmann spruce ( Picea engelmanii) Balsam poplar ( Populus balsamifera ) Quaking aspen ( Populus remuloides ) Paper birch ( Betula papyrifera ) Alaska Paper birch ( Betula neoalasana )

15 PNW Forested Wetland Soils Organic Soils Develop under prolonged saturated conditions Histosols (peat, muck, or mucky peat) Gelisols (permafrost or gelic materials 1m bgs) Organic carbon content of 12 to 18% or more organic carbon Limited to depressions and alluvial fans in southern PNW (range from 0.5 to 250 ha in size) Large expanses on flat or sloping terrain in NE British Columbia and Central/SE Alaska (range from 5 to 800 ha in size) Mineral Soils Majority of forested wetlands associated with mineral soils (southern PNW) Alluvial floodplain, mountainside, hillside seeps, depressions Fine grain clay loam/silty clay loam/gravelly sandy loam, often with a layer of decomposed organic material Support more diverse forested community

16 Hydrologic Characteristics Not much is known! oInformation on coastal forested water balances is primarily from British Columbia oUndisturbed watershed rainfall data is available for the Cascade Mountains in Oregon oThe hydrology of small forest streams has been intensively studied in western Oregon. oAlaskan water balances indicate that rainfall exceeds evapotranspiration and that permafrost impedes drainage, so most of the state would be considered wetland. Recharge and discharge functions of wetlands near Juneau have been examined

17 PNW Forested Wetland Wildlife Little research has been conducted on characterization of wildlife (amphibians, birds, mammals, fish) habitat associations in PNW forested wetlands. Forested wetlands often provide unique habitat features required by many wildlife species: Large diameter trees Complexity Vegetation Snags Organic litter Downed wood Food Cover  Matthew G. Hunter Overall:

18 Amphibians of PNW Forested Wetlands Overview: No studies in the PNW have specifically investigated amphibian association with forested wetlands. Forest and Fish designated species: oTailed Frog (2 species) Rocky mountain tailed frog Pacific tailed frog oSeep or Torrent Salamander (3 species) Cascade torrent salamander Columbia torrent salamander Olympic torrent salamander oVan Dyke’s Salamander oDunn’s Salamander  W. P. Leonard H. Welsh  W. P. Leonard  Matthew G. Hunter  W. P. Leonard

19 Birds of PNW Forested Wetlands Overview: No studies in the PNW have specifically investigated avian communities associated with forested wetlands. o367 species found in OR and WA 72% use freshwater riparian and wetland habitats (all classes) o77% of all inland birds breed in riparian and wetland environments 103 species closely associated 89 species generally associated oBird presence is strongly associated with habitat features

20 Preferred Habitat Features for Birds Preferred Habitat Features*: oLarge dominant trees oMixed tree species composition oMulti-layered canopy oIrregular crown structure oPatches of dense foliage oLarge standing dead wood oAbundant woody debris on forest floor  *inferred from uplands Photo Source: Knopf 1995

21 Mammals of PNW Forested Wetlands oPNW contains 156 species of mammals oGreater than 50 species breed and feed in Montane Coniferous Wetlands oGreater than 60 species breed and feed in Western Riparian Wetlands o70 species breed and feed in eastern Riparian Wetlands

22 Mammals of PNW Forested Wetlands oThere is little information on characterizing the life history of most riparian and forested wetland habitat obligate mammals oMammals use riparian and wetland sites for: Breeding Feeding Cover oAquatic habitat features most important in arid environments

23 Fish Associated with PNW Forested Wetlands o5 species of Pacific salmon and 3 species of anadromous trout utilize streams and rivers in PNW oLittle is known about about salmonids’ relationships with forested wetlands

24 Effects of Forest Management on PNW Forested Wetlands Overall: Forest management effects on PNW forested wetland function is virtually unresearched. Categories: Vegetation Soil Hydrology Wildlife

25 Effects of Forest Management on Vegetation Communities oChange in vegetation community oReduces: Species richness Genetic variability Functional diversity Structural diversity

26 Effects of Forest Management on Soil Characteristics Include: oSoil Compaction oDisruption of Forest Duff oErosion oAlteration to Organic Soils oFrozen Soils

27 Soil Compaction Associated with Harvest Include: oIncreases in bulk density oIncreases in erosion oIncreases in competition with weedy species oDecreases in air-filled porosity oDecreases in infiltration rates oDecrease in hydrologic conductivity oReduction in tree regeneration oChanges in landscape hydrology oHigher soil compaction when soil is saturated McNabb et al. (2001) researched affects of logging traffic on soil and soil wetness on porosity and bulk density Colin and van den Driessche (1996) Laboratory study of soil compaction and lodgepole pine, Douglas fir and white spruce reduced uptake of nutrients and metals Bulmer (1998) Remediation treatments to improve stripped, compacted soils associated with logging: tillage mulches revegetation micobes

28 Soil Compaction Associated with Harvest Include cont….. Erosion Loss of topsoil that is redeposited downslope, resulting in areas of increased productivity and also exposed subsoil with lower productivity Most erosion immediately following disturbance All the above is related to soil types and degree of disturbance Disruption of forest duff that is an important rooting medium or mulch layer Harvest Activities that reduce, spread, or mix duff layer Decreases in soil physical, chemical, and biological processes, and reduces soil productivity and stability Impacts to tree regeneration Establishment of less-desirable pioneering species (red alder, paper birch, black cottonwood, balsam cottonwood) Disruption of soil macropores by moving organic matter, clays, and sequioxides, reducing rainwater infiltration and soil aggregation

29 Alteration to Organic Soils Organic soils provide a wet but partially-aerated surface layer Ruts disrupt horizontal and vertical flow of water through surface layer Summer harvesting can cause deep water-filled ruts Winter harvesting with rubber tires reduced ruts and disruption of duff/vegetation Harvest can change surface or near surface hydrology and runoff or drainage patterns Drainage can decompose and oxidize organic soil causing subsidence of soil surface and increased nutrient load in runoff Increases in water tables may alter PFO vegetation, converting it to a shrub or herbaceous -dominated wetland. Loss of phosphorus and potassium

30 Effects of Forest Management on Frozen Soils oFrost is found from the ground surface to 15-60 cm bgs in wetland soil oWinter logging results in less environmental damage to soil layers and microtopography oCaution: Early winter logging or heavy snow cover can minimize depth of freezing and leave soil fragile Vegetation removal may thaw permafrost and result in soil subsidence, cryoturbation, or flooding

31 Effects of Forest Management on Hydrology There is Little or no peer reviewed research on forested wetland hydrology or FM effects. o Hydrology changes are related to: Vegetation removal (decreased transpiration) Rutting Soil compaction LWD removal o Studies of pre/post harvest hydrology are needed

32 Effects of Forest Management on Forested Wetland Wildlife Habitat oBirds oAmphibians oMammals oFish Photo Source: Neiring 1985

33 Effects of Timber Management on Birds Little research on TM effects on Forested Wetland Birds o Effects of harvest are varied and depend on: Species characteristics Preharvest vegetation Type of harvest intensity Timing Successional phase oBirds requiring late successional characteristics may be displaced following TM oTM may decrease: Bird density Bird diversity Nesting substrate Simplify vegetation structure oTM may increase: Habitat fragmentation Nest predation

34 Effects of Timber Management on Birds Selective harvest may benefit avian communities when: Stands are allowed to mature Coarse woody debris accumulates Habitat components are replaced Photo Source: Niering 1985

35 Effects of Timber Management on Forested Wetland Mammals There has been Little research on TM effects on forested wetland mammals o Most research studies riparian zones o Effects of harvest are varied and depend on: Species characteristics Preharvest vegetation Type of harvest intensity Timing Successional phase oMammals adapted to forested wetlands may be displaced following TM oTM may decrease: Mammal density Mammal diversity Simplify vegetation structure oTM may increase: Habitat fragmentation Photo Source: Niering 1985

36 Effects of Timber Management on Amphibians Little research on TM effects on Forested Wetland- associated amphibians o TM influence appears to vary with harvest type and species affected o TM can displace amphibians by disrupting life cycle requirements through: Sedimentation of egg sites Increased water temperature Soil compaction Hydrologic changes oIn upland sites: Control sites had 3.5 times the amphibians as clear-cut sites Species richness has shown high variability Thought to reflect amphibians, close association with habitat requirements like CWD and structural components oAmphibians may benefit from alternative timber management practices: Retaining CWD Litter depth Large trees Canopy closure Soil moisture

37 Effects of Timber Management on Fish There has been little research done on TM effects on forested wetland associated fish oIn riparian communities TM affects fish by: Increasing water temperature Siltation Altering prey species composition Decreasing large woody debris Decreasing LWD inputs oPess et al. (2002) studied distribution of salmon and land use patterns in PNW Significant correlation between land use and salmon abundance Wetlands had consistent positive correlations to spawner abundance

38 Conclusions and Future Research Conclusions: oLittle information is published on PNW forested wetland characterization and wildlife associations oLittle research has been published regarding Timber Management’s effect on PNW forested wetland hydrology, vegetation changes, soils, and wildlife. oMost literature discussed is based on upland communities, riparian communities, or forested wetlands in other regions. PNW Forested Wetland Research Needs: Characterize PNW forested wetland hydrology, soils, and wildlife associations Investigate how different TM practices effect vegetation change, hydrology, soils and wildlife associations in the PNW.

39 How to Find the References? Products of this research include: oAnnotated Bibliography (701 references) oSynthesis paper (summary of current knowledge) oSlide show All can be found (by June?) as PDF files at: Published by: Washington State Department of Natural Resources

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