Aboveground biomass and production from 1938 to 1984 for four aspen plots in northern lower Michigan

TitleAboveground biomass and production from 1938 to 1984 for four aspen plots in northern lower Michigan
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1988
AuthorsJurik TW, Briggs GM, Gates DM
JournalMichigan Botanist

UMBS has several permanent study plots established in 1938 on which growth of individual trees has been monitored. These permanent plots provide a rare opportunity for determining changes in biomass and species composition during successsional forest regrowth after cutting and burning, in that a true temporal sequence of samples on a single site is available. Such temporal sequences spanning more than one or two decades are extremely uncommon (Peet 1981). As a result, most studies of successional forest regrowth have necessarily assumed that a spatial array of different-age stands studied on any one site, even though the validity of that assumption is not known. Our primary objective here was to provide data on forest stand biomass and production that could be used to test hypotheses concerning forest growth after disturbance; the data also revealed successional trends in species importances on the plots. Our calculations of standing crop and production, via use of allometric equations, included the effects of mortality and recruitment on the plots. In contrast, most other studies of biomass and production have either neglected the turnover of stems or had to estimate turnover rates, thus introducing more uncertainty into the calculation. We demonstrate that the effects of uncertainty in time of mortality and recruitment of stems between sample dates are small.