Latest Score:

4.7/5

in 2019

score trend is flat over time
Weight: 13%

Softwood regeneration tells us the future composition of the forests dominated by species such as spruce and fir. While assessments of mature trees provide information about the current condition of Vermont’s forests, densities of seedlings give details about the likely softwood composition in the future. Softwood regeneration is a measured as the density of seedlings (classified as less than 1" in diameter and at least 6” tall1) per acre, inventoried annually on Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) plot data. Here, a dominant component of the montane spruce-fir forest, and an ecologically and economically important species, red spruce (Picea rubens), was used as a proxy for all softwood species regeneration. These red spruce regeneration estimates are from spruce-fir forests where we would expect to find red spruce seedlings. A high score means that there is a high density of seedlings, measured as the count of seedlings per acre, each year.

1USDA Forest Service. 2017. Forest Inventory and Analysis National Core Field Guide, Volume 1: Field Data Collection Procedures for Phase 2 plots. Version 7.2. Available at: https://www.fia.fs.fed.us/library/field-guides-methods-proc/docs/2017/core_ver7-2_10_2017_final.pdf

-- Expert interpretation for Softwood Regeneration is not available--

The score is calculated using a target value and the historical range of the the entire long-term dataset. The higher the score, the closer this year's value is to the target.

Once the score is computed for each year, the trend in scores over time is calculated. If the trend is significantly positive or negative, the long-term trend is marked as increasing or decreasing respectively.

Component Description
Scored as

Distance between 0 and the data maximum (scaled 1-5)

Target value

Data maximum + 10% of the range

Directionality of scores

Higher values in the data are better

Minimum value used in scoring

Zero

Maximum value used in scoring

Data maximum + 10% of the range

We used red spruce (Picea rubens) seedling counts per acre in spruce-fir forests estimated from USFS Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) Program Phase 2 subplots. Seedling data were collected using an FIA-established query in EVALIDator1 (“0045 Number of live seedlings (less than 1 inch d.b.h./d.r.c.), in seedlings, on forest land”) filtered by red spruce (“and seedling.spcd = 97”) and grouped by forest type. Per FIA protocol, plots were reassessed every 5 years until 2014 (i.e. data reported for 2007 used 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007), and then every 7 years after that2. Estimates are calculated by scaling the seedling data to represent the spruce-fir forests of Vermont. The target for this dataset was set to the maximum value plus 10% of the range. The current year is scored for where it falls between zero and the target, scaled to be between 1 and 5.

1 USDA Forest Service. 2019. FIA EVALIDator. Version1.8.0.01. Available at: https://apps.fs.usda.gov/Evalidator/evalidator.jsp
2 USDA Forest Service. 2017. Forest Inventory and Analysis National Core Field Guide, Volume 1: Field Data Collection Procedures for Phase 2 plots. Version 7.2. Available at: https://www.fia.fs.fed.us/library/field-guides-methods-proc/docs/2017/core_ver7-2_10_2017_final.pdf

STRUCTURE INDICATORS