eCite Digital Repository

Relationships between coarse woody debris habitat quality and forest maturity attributes


Van Galen, LG and Jordan, GJ and Baker, SC, Relationships between coarse woody debris habitat quality and forest maturity attributes, Conservation Science and Practice, 1, (8) Article e55. ISSN 2578-4854 (2019) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2019 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1111/csp2.55


Coarse woody debris (CWD) is an important contributor to forest biodiversity because it provides essential habitat for saproxylic (dead wood‐dependent) species. However, CWD is frequently overlooked in forest management and restoration decisions around the world. We have therefore developed an index of CWD habitat quality that integrates four important characteristics of saproxylic habitat. We apply this index to wet eucalypt forests in Tasmania, Australia. The relationships between the CWD index and standing forest structural and floristic maturity metrics were weak (R2 < .09), highlighting the necessity to explicitly factor CWD habitat into conservation planning. A hump‐shaped relationship between current CWD habitat quality and variables linked to future quality (standing tree basal area and the number of old‐growth eucalypts) implies that stands with medium current quality provide better potential future habitat than stands with high current quality. CWD habitat quality was lower in previously harvested stands. We present a web app that calculates CWD habitat quality scores from raw field measurements. Our approach can be applied in conservation assessments to determine habitat availability for biodiversity, and to quantify the impacts of management actions and restoration activities.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:coarse woody debris, biodiversity, saproxylic, forest, conservation, clear-cutting, dead wood, downed woody debris, index, restoration, saproxylic, silviculture, sustainable forest management, wildfire
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Forestry sciences
Research Field:Forestry management and environment
Objective Division:Plant Production and Plant Primary Products
Objective Group:Forestry
Objective Field:Harvesting and transport of forest products
UTAS Author:Van Galen, LG (Miss Laura van Galen)
UTAS Author:Jordan, GJ (Professor Greg Jordan)
UTAS Author:Baker, SC (Dr Sue Baker)
ID Code:136990
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2020-01-24
Last Modified:2020-05-20
Downloads:4 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page