Thursday, March 31, 2011
Importance of Old Trees
I have posted many times on the need for forest refugia. Here we get another lesson. The older trees grow mosses and these mosses actually fix nitrogen which is then dropped onto the forest floor.
In fact, proper forest husbandry must include refugia in various shapes and sizes, but most likely best set in narrow strips that perhaps go for miles. Such strips also cater to the needs of wildlife. Such strips are usually best set right along the valley drainage to protect the fishery as well. Yet hillside strips are also called for.
This way planned timber harvesting can follow decadal programs rather easily while also preserving a lot of natural fertility and diversity.
Even better will be the day we simply practice selective logging from time to time that includes extensive brush clearing through burning.
I personally think that most forestry needs to be privately owned with a quota system put in place and designated refugia that is deliberately preserved.
This shows us another control that can be put in place. Just license the allowable cut on the basis of the number of healthy refugia trees whose age exceeds a certain standard. Unhealthy trees would be removed posthaste but then one would wait for their replacements to reach the proper age before new cutting was allowed. That should motivate everyone to be good and also careful.
Old trees 'important for forests'
Mar 15, 2011
"You need trees that are large enough and old enough to start accumulating mosses before you can have the cyanobacteria that are associated with the mosses," says Lindo. "Many trees don't start to accumulate mosses until they're more than 100 years old. So it's really the density of very large, old trees that are draped in moss that is important at a forest stand level. We surveyed trees that are estimated as being between 500 and 800 years old."