Canadian Biomass Magazine

Harvesting wood for pellets doesn’t harm wildlife

July 5, 2016
By Brandi Cowen

July 5, 2016 – Removing the biomass left behind from clear-cutting timber has no effect on wildlife, according to researchers at North Carolina State University.

Forestry and environmental resources professor Chris Moorman worked with students to catalogue small animals at pine stands over four years. They determined populations in clear-cut sites were not affected by how much wood debris was harvested for wood pellet production.

The sites included in the study were all left with at least 10 per cent of their biomass after harvesting. Ecologist Sarah Fritts, who studied the mammals, amphibians and reptiles at the logged sites, concluded this level of residual biomass seems to be sufficient for the wildlife populations that remain in the area.

For Moorman, the research demonstrates the animals are resilient and can adapt to changing conditions, just as they adapt to other, more destructive events, such as forest fires and hurricanes.

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