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The Importance of Large-Diameter Trees to Forest Structural Heterogeneity

Figure 8

Structure and composition of the Wind River Forest Dynamics Plot (WFDP).

Four images from different parts of the WFDP illustrate defining characteristics of the ecosystem. The forest is composed of an overstory of large-diameter trees with abundant but heterogeneous woody low shrub and herbaceous layers. Vegetation communities include Tsuga heterophylla/Mahonia nervosa (upper left image, August 19, 2012), and Tsuga heterophylla/Mahonia nervosa/Gaultheria shallon (upper right image, May 8, 2010). Regeneration by the shade-tolerant Tsuga heterophylla can be locally dense (lower right image, August 31, 2012). The most abundant species by stems, Acer circinatum, creates a seasonal sub-canopy layer (lower left image, May 8, 2010). All photos by J. A. Lutz.

Figure 8