USGS-funded research weighs benefits of forest thinning on plants and animals
Wilson’s warbler, a songbird common in many Pacific Northwest forests; photo credit Joan Hagar
Caterpillar form of a moth found in Pacific Northwest forests; photo credit Jeff Miller
Recent studies show that thinning of young forests can benefit the development of old-growth characteristics and the diversity of plants and animals, but only if methods are used that protect and promote the development of shrubs, hardwoods, and large or old trees.
The findings, which were made by researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Oregon State University (OSU), hold special significance for the management of many young forests, with trees less than about 60 years old, which cover vast portions of the Pacific Northwest.
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