An assessment of coarse woody debris dynamics in an urban forestThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Determining the amount of coarse woody debris (CWD) in an urban forest is essential to developing management strategies to maintain ecosystem function while minimizing hazards to local residents. It is also an essential variable used for the assessment and monitoring of carbon dynamics and fire fuel loads in forests. Plots were established and CWD measured in Marshall Forest, an approximately 300 acre urban forest in Rome, GA, managed by the Nature Conservancy, to determine the amount and the spatial distribution of CWD. The volume of CWD is 863 ft3/ac and has a carbon content of 9.1 tons/ac and varies in its distribution throughout the forest. This area contains a large amount of debris that, while serving local wildlife, could pose a hazard for wildfire that could spread to adjacent neighborhoods. Forest managers should be aware of CWD levels and take steps to mitigate hazards.