Forest structure, habitat and carbon benefits from thinning floodplain forests: Managing early stand density makes a difference

Gillis Horner, Patrick Baker, Ralph MAC NALLY, Shaun Cunningham, Jim THOMSON, Fiona Hamilton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

59 Citations (Scopus)


Forest ecosystems are increasingly expected to produce multiple goods and services, such as timber, biodiversity, water flows, and sequestered carbon. While many of these are notmutually exclusive, they cannot all be simultaneously maximised so that management compromise is inevitable. We used a 42-year dataset from a naturally regenerating floodplain forest of the river red gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) to investigate the effects of pre-commercial thinning on long-term patterns in habitat quality, forest structure and rates of carbon storage (i.e. standing aboveground carbon). Estimates of habitat quality were based on the density of hollow-bearing trees because hollows are ecologically important to many species of vertebrates and invertebrates in these forests. Thinning improved habitat value by producing 20 (+ 8) hollow-bearing trees per ha after 42 years, while the unthinned treatment produced none. Unthinned (highest density) stands were dominated by many slender trees, mostly
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)286-293
Number of pages8
JournalForest Ecology and Management
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


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