Pat Shingleton Column


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Posted: Feb 20, 2013 7:26 PM by Pat Shingleton

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Topics: Forest Restoration. Hurricanes.

After a severe storm and especially a hurricane, routines include storm debris clean-up. Storm damaged trees are salvaged for firewood while acres of downed and broken trees are cut and hauled. The National Science Foundation determined that the recovery of the forest is hindered by this common practice. Harvard's Forest Long-Term Ecological Research Site in Massachusetts conducted an experiment in forest restoration. The experiment began in 1990 when a team of scientists recreated a hurricane by toppling 80 percent of the trees in a two-acre patch of mature oaks. Replicating a storm, the site was impassable with dead and damaged wood remaining on the ground. In the 20 years since, seedlings thrived, intermingled with an addition of black birch and red maples. Ecologists contend that devastation rejuvenates the ecosystem

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