What are Forest Reserves and Why Are They Important

Forest reserves are portions of state lands where commercial harvesting of wood products is excluded in order to capture elements of biodiversity that can be missing from sustainably harvested sites. Small (patch) reserves will conserve sensitive, localized resources such as steep slopes, fragile soils, and habitat for certain rare species that benefit from intact forest canopies. Large (matrix) reserves will represent the diversity of relatively un-fragmented forest landscapes remaining in Massachusetts today. Matrix reserves will ultimately support a wider diversity of tree sizes and ages than typically occurs on sustainably harvested sites, and will also support structures and processes associated with extensive accumulations of large woody debris that are typically absent from harvested sites. Matrix reserves will ultimately include a wide range of tree sizes and ages, from large, old trees 200-500 years old, to small, young trees that occur in open gaps where old trees have died or been blown over. Matrix reserves will ultimately feature extensive “pit and mound” micro-topography that occurs when old trees are blown over and their roots are pulled from the ground. Pits are formed when roots of large trees are pulled out of the ground during a natural disturbance like a wind storm. Pits collect moisture, organic matter, and nutrients over time, and provide unique, protected micro-climates for plants and invertebrate wildlife. Over time, the exposed roots of toppled trees degrade and form mounds characterized by extreme soil conditions of low moisture, low organic matter, and low nutrients that are markedly different from, yet in close proximity to pits originally occupied by the roots (Beatty 1984). The trunks and branches of large trees that are toppled during wind storms will accumulate as large woody debris in the forest, and will support decades or even centuries of activity by micro-organisms and invertebrate wildlife that occupy, feed upon, and ultimately break down these massive stores of organic material. The EOEA agencies responsible for managing state-owned forestlands (DCR Division of State Parks and Recreation, DCR Division of Water Supply Protection, and DFG Division of Fisheries and Wildlife) have proposed nine matrix reserves (Table 1) that will represent the diversity of forest ecosystems that occur within the remaining, relatively un-fragmented forest landscapes of Massachusetts. 

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Oluborode, J. (2021). What are Forest Reserves and Why Are They Important. Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/whatare-forestreserves-0

MLA 8th

Oluborode, James "What are Forest Reserves and Why Are They Important" Afribary. Afribary, 11 May. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/whatare-forestreserves-0. Accessed 15 Jul. 2024.


Oluborode, James . "What are Forest Reserves and Why Are They Important". Afribary, Afribary, 11 May. 2021. Web. 15 Jul. 2024. < https://afribary.com/works/whatare-forestreserves-0 >.


Oluborode, James . "What are Forest Reserves and Why Are They Important" Afribary (2021). Accessed July 15, 2024. https://afribary.com/works/whatare-forestreserves-0