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Succession of mosses, liverworts and ferns on coarse woody debris, in relation to forest age and log decay in Tasmanian wet eucalypt forest


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Browning, BJ, Jordan, GJ, Dalton, PJ, Grove, SJ, Wardlaw, TJ and Turner, PAM 2010 , 'Succession of mosses, liverworts and ferns on coarse woody debris, in relation to forest age and log decay in Tasmanian wet eucalypt forest' , Forest Ecology and Management, vol. 260, no. 10 , pp. 1896-1905 , doi: 10.1016/j.foreco.2010.08.038.

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In managed forest landscapes, understanding successional processes is critical to management for sustainable
biodiversity. Coarse woody debris is a key substrate for forest biodiversity, particularly because
it undergoes complex succession reflecting the effects of changes in both forest structure and substrate
characteristics. The present study used a chronosequence approach to investigate succession of mosses,
liverworts and ferns on coarse woody debris following clearfell, burn, sow native forest silviculture in
wet eucalypt forest in Tasmania, focussing on discriminating between the effects of forest age and log
decay. It also compared successional processes following wildfire with those following clearfell, burn,
sow silviculture. Forest regenerating after the latter form of regeneration showed clear ecological succession
up to 43 years (the limit of available sites), characterised by increasing diversity and cover, and
clearly delineated specialisation among species with regard to successional stage. Analyses of subsets of
the full data-set indicated that the effects of forest age dominated this succession, with minimal effects
of substrate change independent of forest age. Analysis of within forest microenvironments were consistent
with the inference that microenvironmental changes related to forest age drive major successional
changes in these forests. Comparative analysis indicated similarity between successional states in postwildfire
and post- clearfell, burn, sow regeneration after 43 years for logs of the same decay stages, and
continuing succession on post-wildfire sites to at least 110 years. Overall, these data suggest that management
to sustain fern and bryophyte diversity should ensure that areas of forest beyond 110 years are
represented in the landscape at appropriate spatial scales.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Browning, BJ and Jordan, GJ and Dalton, PJ and Grove, SJ and Wardlaw, TJ and Turner, PAM
Keywords: CBS, clearfell, burn and sow; CWD, coarse woody debris; NMDS, non-metric multidimensional scaling
Journal or Publication Title: Forest Ecology and Management
ISSN: 0378-1127
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.foreco.2010.08.038
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