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Dead Wood

Does demographic analysis end when trees die?

After trees die, the wood persists in the ecosystem, sometimes for centuries, either as standing deadwood or woody debris on the ground. Deadwood plays an important role in forest ecosystems, providing significantly different substrate, nutrient source, and microclimate to seedlings as well as habitat to vertebrates and invertebrates. Measurements of dead material on the forest floor can be used to more completely estimate biomass, carbon pools, and carbon fluxes. These methods continue the philosophy of the ForestGEO demography data by tracking the status of individual woody stems after mortality and thereby extending observations to the entire period each woody stem exists in the forest.

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