baumzaehlen - Primeval Forests & Their Trees

©2017copyright christoph hase

Goat Marsh Research Natural Area, Washington, USA


This virgin forest area (4.8 km2) is located on the southwestern slope of Mt. St. Helens. It contains several forest types on different substrates. The most impressive is Opens internal link in current windowAbies procera (noble fir) dominated forest at the north edge of the area at an elevation of 900-1000 metres. Biomass value 1687 t/ha has been measured1, exceeded only by Opens internal link in current windowSequoia sempervirens (coast redwood) and Opens internal link in current windowEucalyptus regnans (Australian mountain ash) forests2. The tallest laser-measured A. procera (89.9 m) was also situated in the area; it is now dead3. The tallest living A. procera is 86.0 m 4. There are also some Opens internal link in current windowPseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii (coast Douglas-fir) of about equal size. The dominant A. procera and P. menziesii have regenerated in approx. 1630-1655 5. Shade tolerant Opens internal link in current windowTsuga heterophylla (western hemlock) and Opens internal link in current windowAbies amabilis (Pacific silver fir) are invading the forest. Just next to this magnificent forest, stunted open Opens internal link in current windowPinus contorta (lodgepole pine) forest is growing on an infertile soil. On slightly better soil it is replaced by low T. heterophylla dominated forest. Tree species diversity is low and tree identification easy. Annual precipitation is 3370 mm and average annual temperature 4.7°C 6.


There are no trails. At the north edge of the area there is a steep slope, otherwise walking is easy in the sparse undergrowth.

 

References:

 

1       Fujimori, T., Kawanabe, S., Saito, H., Grier, C. C. & Shidei, T. (1976): Opens external link in new windowBiomass and Primary Production in Forests of Three Major Vegetation Zones of the Northwestern United States. J. Jap. For. Soc. 58(10).

2       http://www.ents-bbs.org/viewtopic.php?f=144&t=4966

3       http://www.ents-bbs.org/viewtopic.php?f=235&t=5220

4       http://www.ents-bbs.org/viewtopic.php?f=129&t=8037&sid=135a12dad8c91cc6ad1870843b604674&start=10

5       Franklin, J. F. & Wiberg, C. (1979): Opens external link in new windowGoat March Research Natural Area, Supplement No 10.

6       Van Pelt & Franklin (2000): Opens external link in new windowInfluence of canopy structure on the understory environment in tall, old-growth, conifer forests. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 30, 1231-1245.

 

Official site:


http://www.fsl.orst.edu/rna/sites/goatmarch.htm


Abies procera (noble fir) forest. Also Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii (coast Douglas-fir), behind the dead A. procera, and Tsuga heterophylla (western hemlock), extreme right. Elev. 900 m.
Abies procera (noble fir) forest at 900 m. Also Abies amabilis (Pacific silver fir, with pale trunk, left), Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii (coast Douglas-fir, with very coarse bark, background left) and Tsuga heterophylla (western hemlock, with lower branches, centre and right).
Abies procera (noble fir) forest at 900 m.
Low Tsuga heterophylla (western hemlock) forest. Also Abies amabilis (Pacific silver fir), pale trunks, and Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii (coast Douglas-fir), right. Elev. 900 m.
Pinus contorta (lodgepole pine) forest on an infertile soil. Also Abies lasiocarpa (subalpine fir) sapling, right.
Goat Marsh Giant, the largest Abies procera (noble fir) in the area by volume (126 cubic metres). Behind it (centre) a large Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii (coast Douglas-fir).
The large tree species of the area: Abies procera (noble fir), left; Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii (coast Douglas-fir), right.
The shade tolerant tree species of the area: Tsuga heterophylla (western hemlock), left foreground; Abies amabilis (Pacific silver fir), the other trees in the photo.