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Regeneration patterns of northern white cedar, an old-growth forest dominant

January 1, 1987

Regeneration of Thuja occidentalis L. was examined in an old-growth dune forest on South Manitou Island, Michigan. To estimate the current status of cedar regeneration, we determined size structure of seedlings and stems and analyzed present patterns of establishment and persistence relative to substrate type. There has been a shift in the pattern of cedar establishment from soil to log substrates. While 97% of all stems ≥15 cm dbh are associated with a soil substrate, 81% of stems ≥2.5cm-<15 cm dbh, and 98% of all cedar seedlings are confined to log substrates. However, few cedar seedlings survive; only 1% of all seedlings on logs are >25 cm tall. There was no significant relationship between the state of log decay and the density of seedlings >25 cm in height, indicating that long-term survival is not dependent on the degree of log decomposition. However, survival on logs is associated with canopy openings. Seedlings >25 cm tall were associated with gaps, and 78% of cedar stems (≥2.5 cm dbh) on logs were associated with a single windthrow gap. Thus, current cedar regeneration in this old-growth forest depends on logs and the canopy openings associated with them.

Publication Year 1987
Title Regeneration patterns of northern white cedar, an old-growth forest dominant
DOI 10.2307/2425702
Authors Michael L. Scott, Peter G. Murphy
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title American Midland Naturalist
Index ID 70121879
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse