Module 3 — Stand level components
of biodiversity
British Columbia
Ministry of Forests
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Module 3, Part C — Coarse woody debris — continued
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Maintaining coarse woody debris (CWD)

 
 

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Maintaining coarse woody debris (CWD) post-harvesting is a critical element of managing for biodiversity.

CWD should be managed in conjunction with WTPs, individual leave trees, and other reserve areas. Standing trees are the source of future CWD.

Some practices can be modified to help address requirements for CWD. Post-harvest CWD volume objectives may be met with post-logging waste and residue for first rotation harvesting.

This will not be the case in situations where whole-tree harvesting, clean site preparation practices, or excessive salvage of material not considered merchantable under current utilization standards, are employed.

Coniferous material lasts many times longer than deciduous material and therefore remains part of the useable structure of a stand for much longer time.

In mixed wood ecosystems, coniferous material is generally more valuable than deciduous material.

CWD can be managed in conjunction with wildlife trees and other constrained or reserve areas. Standing live and dead trees and/or stubs retained on cutblocks represent important sources of CWD recruitment. 

CWD has additional value in riparian areas, which are a valuable habitat resource for many species of wildlife. 

CWD can provide habitat for fish, invertebrates and vegetation. Most importantly, it contributes to stream geomorphology. However, excessive amounts of fine woody debris can have negative effects on stream biology.

When developing objectives for CWD, consider other objectives such as forest health and fuel loading.

An assessment of CWD can follow the standardized methodology outlined in the Resource Inventory Committee Vegetation Inventory Procedures Manual.

     
  next Next: CWD applications for forest management

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