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Vegetation structure in old-growth stands in the Coram Research Natural Area in northwestern Montana

Author(s): Caryl L. Elzinga, Raymond C. Shearer
Year Published: 1997
Description:

Forest stand structure, understory composition, and tree seedling composition are described for eight permanent tenth-hectare plots established in Engelmann spruce/subalpine fir, western larch, and interior Douglas-fir forest cover types in northwestern Montana. Sites have been protected as examples of old-growth stands since the establishment of the Coram Research Natural Area in 1937. Plot data clearly illustrate a successional trend toward shade-tolerant conifers, placing old-growth stands at risk of loss from succession or catastrophic fire. Management issues associated with use of prescribed fire to maintain old-growth characteristics in natural areas are discussed.

Citation: Elzinga, C.L.; Shearer, R.C. 1997. Vegetation structure in old-growth stands in the Coram Research Natural Area in northwestern Montana. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-GTR-364. Ogden, UT: USDA, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 26 p.
Topic(s): Fire History, Management Approaches
Ecosystem(s): Montane wet mixed-conifer forest, Montane dry mixed-conifer forest
Document Type: Technical Report or White Paper
NRFSN number: 13138
Record updated: Jun 22, 2015