Regeneration Dynamics of coast redwood, a sprouting conifer species: A review with implications for management and restoration
- Author(s): O'Hara, KL
- Cox, LE
- Nikolaeva, S
- Bauer, JJ
- Hedges, R
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.3390/f8050144
© 2017 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens (Lamb. ex. D. Don) Endl.) is unique among conifer species because of its longevity, the great sizes of individual trees, and its propensity to reproduce through sprouts. Timber harvesting in the native redwood range along the coast of the western United States has necessitated restoration aimed to promote old forest structures to increase the total amount of old forest, the connectivity between old forests, and to enhance the resiliency of these ecosystems. After disturbance or harvest, healthy redwood stumps sprout vigorously, often producing dozens of sprouts within two years of disturbance. These sprouts form highly aggregated spatial patterns because they are clustered around stumps that may number less than 50 ha-1. Thinning of sprouts can accelerate individual tree growth, providing an effective restoration strategy to accelerate formation of large trees and old forest structures or increase stand growth for timber production. However, management, including restoration activities, is a contentious issue throughout the native range of redwood because of the history of overexploitation of this resource and perceptions that overexploitation is continuing. This paper reviews the science of early stand dynamics in coast redwood and their implications for restoration and other silvicultural strategies.