The Interaction of Site and Silviculture: Lessons Learned from Long-Term Studies in the Northeast United States
Integration of site features into silvicultural decision-making has been a tenant of hardwood management for over a century. In regions like the northeast United States, site-level silviculture is especially critical for systems that rely on natural regeneration. However, the hardwood forests of the northeast are nuanced and complex. Truly matching silvicultural practices with underlying site attributes to achieve consistent outcomes in composition and structure is difficult. To further understand the relationship between site and silviculture, and the influence of their interaction on natural regeneration dynamics, we utilized long-term (20+ years) forest inventory data from three silviculture studies across the region. We will synthesize results for management recommendations in the context of ongoing and evolving forest challenges, such as the proliferation of American beech and resilience to climate change.