Cascades study may rewrite the textbook on forest growth and death

“A century-long study in the Oregon Cascades may cause scientists to revise the textbook on how forests grow and die, accumulate biomass and store carbon.

“However, since the stands in Harmon and Pabst’s study have continued to accumulate biomass steadily for 150 years, the optimum harvest cycle may be considerably longer than 50 years. It is likely, they wrote, that some Douglas-fir forests have been harvested many decades before they reached a point when the rate of biomass accumulation slowed.”

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-03-cascades-rewrite-textbook-forest-growth.html#jCp.

GR:  It might not surprise anyone to learn that for the past century, the U.S. Forest Service and it’s timber companies have been harvesting forests too often. This research indicates that forests remain healthy and continue to accumulate biomass for more than 100 years.  Other research indicates that biodiversity and general environmental health are greater in old-growth forests. So–let’s stop cutting our trees until we get our problems with climate change and wildlife decline under control!

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