The survival and persistence of forest species is dependent on the presence, abundance, and distribution of key resources. Dead wood is one of these key resources that is critical for numerous organisms including species of fungi, cavity nesting organisms, wood boring insects and the animals that eat them. This study investigated how the key resource of standing dead trees is spatially distributed in temperate forest stands of different land use history in SW Ohio. Specifically we examined the relationship between the number and size (diameter) of dead trees to a primary old-growth stand and a secondary post-agricultural stand that originated in the 1960s. I hypothesized, based on known dynamics of age-differing forests, that there would be more standing dead trees (SDT) in the younger, post agricultural forest undergoing self-thinning. I also hypothesized that these trees would be smaller in diameter at breast height (DBH) than trees dying in older forest.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/thomas_rooney/96/