Peck, J.E.  1999.  1999 Moss Recovery Report. Report to the Siuslaw National Forest, Corvallis, OR.


    Epiphyte recovery in terms of biomass and species composition following commercial moss harvest is extremely slow.  In annual monitoring since 1995, percent cover was estimated for all epiphyte species present on the 85 vine maple (Acer circinatum) stems harvested in 1994.  Five years after harvest, total average percent cover has increased to 28% across the remaining 6 sites, although mat depth rarely exceeds 2 mm.  This indicates that to achieve the biomass that was present at the time of harvest will require decades of undisturbed growth.  Species were both gained and lost from 1995 through 1999.  Species richness and cover increased each year since harvest, and species composition differed from year to year in the early years, although composition now appears to be stabilizing.  Species composition continues, however, to differ from the pre-harvest composition of 1994.  Five years of data are insufficient to estimate an accumulation rate with any degree of confidence, or estimate trends in community recovery.  While reliable rates may require 10 or more years of additional data, it is apparent that rotations on the order of decades, rather than years, will be necessary to manage commercial moss harvest for sustainability.


PNW Moss Lit