Original NZ mammal & forest (Was Re: Clear-cut)

DVK dvank at michweb.net
Mon Feb 7 23:08:05 EST 2000

Brian Sandle wrote:

> truffler1635 at my-deja.com wrote:
> : In article <20000204234404.27004.00001460 at ng-cj1.aol.com>,
> :   gswoodsguy at aol.com (GSWoodsguy) wrote:
> :> clear cutting is a vital part of timber harvesting.  You thin a few times, then
> :> cut the remaining trees and replant.  IMHO
> :>
> : Thanks for your _opinion_. But forest management should have a little
> : more basis than just opinion, don't you think?
> : The problem with clearcutting is that regeneration is presumed, not
> : proven. Most mycorrhizal fungi associated with most trees dies out
> : within a year after clearcutting. Without mycorrhizal fungi, most trees
> : die.
> : The last issue of McIlvania has an interesting article on successional
> : mycorrhizal on glaciers in Washington. The mycorrhizal fungi associated
> : with nearly exposed rocky areas is nearly completely different from
> : soils 50-100 years old, and considerably different from established old-
> : growth trees at lower elevations. In other words, there appears to be a
> : succession of mycorrhizal fungi as trees grow. And as soils grow.
> : Since most mycorrhizal fungi have _not_ been cultivated (most haven't
> : even been identified) it is impossible to grow trees. The best thing
> : that can happen is planting seedlings and _hoping_ nature is still able
> : to inoculate the mycorrhizal fungi necessary to keep the trees alive.
> : Many essential mycorrhizal fungi are hypogeous (underground) truffles.
> : The Northern Spotted owl is the best vector for dispersal of these
> : fungi. The fungi are the major source of food for Northern flying
> : squirrels and California Red-backed voles. Voles especially need to eat
> : their own body weight in truffles to survive. To stay alive, a mature
> : vole needs to eat 16 pounds of truffles per year. But voles probably
> : don't travel further than 100 yards from where they are born.
> : Northern Spotted owls eat many voles each day. The spores pass through
> : both voles and owls without apparent harm, and germinate some distance
> : away. A Northern Spotted owl flies up to 40 miles each day. Each time it
> : regurgitates an owl pellet, or defecates, it essentially is dispersing
> : hundreds of mycorrhizal fungi species. That's how truffles get spread in
> : nature.
> : Clearcutting disrupts that cycle. Great Horned owls roost on the edges
> : of clearcuts. When they see a Spotted owl, they try to overtake it and
> : kill it. Most spotted owls are killed by Great Horned owls or other
> : raptors.
> : Widespread clearcuts are the reasons Northern Spotted owls are nearing
> : extinction. Should the owls become extinct, old-growth forests may
> : follow.
> : Daniel B. Wheeler
> : www.oregonwhitetruffles.com
> So we have to watch out for this sort of talk:
>         URL: http://www-vti.waite.adelaide.edu.au/agroforestry/afis.htm
>    Last Mod: Wed, 15 Oct 1997 01:50:00 GMT
>        size: 273 lines
>    Slash-&-burn agriculture is, for example, a form of rotational (or
>    "separate") agroforestry. In this practice, the farmers clear the
>    forest, burn the slash, and cultivate annual or short-term perennial
>    food crops along with some tree species. These plots are worked for a
>    few years until fertility is exhausted and then abandonned. The plots
>    are recolonised by pioneer, and later climax, species from the
>    surrounding forest which restore the fertility of the soil.
>    Slash-&-burn agriculture has not only been practised in the tropics.
>    It existed in Europe up to the Middle Ages, still widely followed in
>    Finland up to end of last century, and practiced in a few areas of
>    Germany as late as the 1920s.
> Not that we have plans for that in New Zealand at the moment. But I think
> that there is some disagreement as to whether former native forest shoudl
> be allowed to try to regenerate rather than be planted in exotics. The
> populations of many creatures in the forests have severely decreased. Is
> there a minimum range of forest needed for viability?
> Moller, in the following, recently wrote an article for the Christchurch
> Press seeming to extol the TWC beech scheme. But in teh analysis of
> submissions on it he was very cautionary about improvement felling, which
> I thought was still part of the scheme which many are still trying to
> promote:
>    Linkname: TWC Submission Analysis - Improvement felling
>         URL:
>           TopOfPage
>    Last Mod: Mon, 21 Dec 1998 23:29:05 GMT
>        size: 76 lines
>    The Royal Society notes that the impacts of improvement felling on
>    ecosystem diversity or function are not addressed in the
>    prescriptions. Moller is extremely concerned about the ecological
>    impacts, especially on hole-using bats and birds, of improvement
>    fellings and urges that this silvicultural approach be eliminated from
>    the Plans. Elliott et al, West Coast Tai Poutini Conservation Board
>    and Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society express similar concerns.
>    The Maruia Society questions whether "improvement" should be sought,
>    believing a policy of non-degradation is more consistent with the
>    vision of near natural management. The Society believes that the
>    improvement felling proposals should be reviewed.
> Bats are our only original mammals in NZ. What functions do they have?

The same as sheep (talk about modifying the natural landscape!) : )


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