eCite Digital Repository

Look down to see what's up: a systematic overview of treefall dynamics in forests


Buettel, JC and Ondei, S and Brook, BW, Look down to see what's up: a systematic overview of treefall dynamics in forests, Forests, 8, (4) Article 123. ISSN 1999-4907 (2017) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 the authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.3390/f8040123


The study of treefall and its after-effects is a common theme in studies of forest structure and local dynamics, yet its value as descriptor of broader-scale ecological dynamics is rarely explored. Here we synthesize the most highly cited literature on treefalls, from 1985 to 2016 (in three-year blocks), highlighting the importance of the causes, characteristics and consequences of such events. We then ask how this knowledge might contribute to the broader conceptual model of forest dynamics, and develop two conceptual models, which we use to illustrate both the classic and alternative views of how forests ‘work’. Treefalls are one of the few ‘integrating’ attributes of forests, because of their ubiquity and longevity, and therefore can inform a variety of processes (e.g., tree mortality, turnover rates, structural impacts, recruitment, and fire frequency) due to their impacts occurring simultaneously over space (patterns), and time (legacy effects). The substantial knowledge that already exists on localized treefall dynamics should be combined with more integrative approaches to studying forest ecosystems, to investigate landscape-scale patterns of treefall and reconstruct past disturbance events.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:canopy gap, coarse woody debris, disturbance, forest dynamics, plant population and community dynamics, treefall
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Forestry sciences
Research Field:Forestry management and environment
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Fresh, ground and surface water systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of freshwater ecosystems
UTAS Author:Buettel, JC (Dr Jessie Buettel)
UTAS Author:Ondei, S (Dr Stefania Ondei)
UTAS Author:Brook, BW (Professor Barry Brook)
ID Code:122683
Year Published:2017
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (FL160100101)
Web of Science® Times Cited:7
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2017-11-22
Last Modified:2018-12-13
Downloads:82 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page