iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Amount and distribution of coarse woody debris in pine ecosystems of north-western Spain, Russia and the United States

Celia Herrero (1)   , Olga Krankina (2), Vicente J Monleon (3), Felipe Bravo (1)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 7, Issue 1, Pages 53-60 (2014)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor0644-007
Published: Oct 28, 2013 - Copyright © 2014 SISEF

Research Articles

The quantity and characteristics of coarse woody debris (CWD) were examined in four distinct pine ecosystems of north-western (NW) Spain, NW Russia and the NW USA. The average CWD volume and biomass ranged from 3.76 m3 ha-1, 1.55 Mg ha-1 in pine plantations in NW Spain to 24.86 m3 ha-1, 6.69 Mg ha-1 in Scots pine forest in NW Russia to 55.35 m3 ha-1, 20.38 Mg ha-1 and 77.04 m3 ha-1, 28.84 Mg ha-1 in ponderosa and lodgepole pine forests in the NW USA. Despite differences in species, ecological conditions and management histories, in all four ecosystems the mean snag volume was less than that of logs, most of the CWD mass was in an intermediate degree of decay, and mature stands had the greatest amount of CWD mass, followed by middle-age and then young stands. The CWD ratio (ratio of dead to live wood volume) ranged from 2.8% to 126.6%, depending on pine ecosystem and stand age, and was influenced by the type of natural and human disturbance. The difference in CWD amount and distribution among the regions studied reflected differences in disturbance history and management practices. Only in NW USA was the sample size large enough to examine the effect of disturbance type on CWD amount and distribution. There, fire and insect damage were found to considerably influence the amount of CWD in both lodgepole and ponderosa pine forests. Comparison of how different factors affect the amount and distribution of CWD in different ecosystems could be useful in developing ecologically sustainable forest management guidelines.


Disturbance, Lodgepole Pine, Dead Wood, Ponderosa Pine, Scots Pine

Authors’ address

Celia Herrero
Felipe Bravo
Sustainable Forest Management Research Institute, Uva-INIA, University of Valladolid, Avda. Madrid 44, C.P. 34071 Palencia (Spain)
Olga Krankina
Department of Forest Science, Oregon State University, 321 Richardson Hall, 97331 Corvallis, Oregon (USA)
Vicente J Monleon
USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, 3200 Jefferson Way, 97331 Corvallis, Oregon (USA)

Corresponding author

Celia Herrero


Herrero C, Krankina O, Monleon VJ, Bravo F (2014). Amount and distribution of coarse woody debris in pine ecosystems of north-western Spain, Russia and the United States. iForest 7: 53-60. - doi: 10.3832/ifor0644-007

Academic Editor

Renzo Motta

Paper history

Received: May 21, 2012
Accepted: Jul 28, 2013

First online: Oct 28, 2013
Publication Date: Feb 03, 2014
Publication Time: 3.07 months

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