New Zealand Journal of Ecology (1988) 11: 123-124

Techniques for analysing forest disturbance history

Conference Abstract
Glenn H. Stewart  
Alan B. Rose  
Abstract: 

A number of non-destructive and destructive techniques are available for analysing the timing, frequency, and magnitude of natural disturbances in forest stands. Intensive age determination of trees is desirable for reconstructing forest disturbance history, but when used alone is not always sufficient to establish a disturbance chronology. Diameter and height growth patterns may provide more direct evidence of past canopy tree deaths than age.

Where large samples of ages and growth records cannot be obtained, structural attributes of forests can provide valuable supplementary evidence. Examples of the effects of disturbance history and age structure on diameter distributions are examined and principles for A number of non-destructive and destructive techniques are available for analysing the timing, frequency, and magnitude of natural disturbances in forest stands. Intensive age determination of trees is desirable for reconstructing forest disturbance history, but when used alone is not always sufficient to establish a disturbance chronology. Diameter and height growth patterns may provide more direct evidence of past canopy tree deaths than age. Where large samples of ages and growth records cannot be obtained, structural attributes of forests can provide valuable supplementary evidence. Examples of the effects of disturbance history and age structure on diameter distributions are examined and principles for interpretation proposed. Simple size distributions alone are often unreliable indicators of past disturbance and must be supplemented with other structural indicators such as crown area distributions or with age and special data.

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