Canadian Forest Service Publications

Testing forest ecosystem management in boreal mixedwoods of northwestern Quebec: initial response of aspen stands to different levels of harvesting. 2004. Brais, S.; Harvey, B.D.; Bergeron, Y.; Messier, C.; Greene, D.; Belleau, A.; Paré, D. Can. J. For. Res. 34: 431-446.

Year: 2004

Issued by: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 25246

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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Abstract

The SAFE (sylviculture et aménagement forestiers écosystémique) project was set up in 1998 in the Lake Duparquet Research and Teaching Forest to test stand-level silvicultural treatments designed to reflect different aspects of natural forest dynamics. In the winter of 1998–1999, four levels of forest harvesting, including a no-harvest and a clearcut treatment, were applied to even-aged trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) stands according to a complete block design with three replications. Two partial cut treatments removed 33% and 61% of the stand basal area. During the first growing season, harvesting induced a large increase in indigenous understorey biomass that paralleled changes in the canopy opening. Aspen sucker density increased from 4916 stems/ha in the control to 28 751 and 63 333 stems/ha in the one-third and two-thirds harvesting treatments and 102 916 stems/ha in the clearcut. Most changes in nutrient cycling occurred in the second year and included an increase in forest floor organic C, total N, and base cation availability and a decrease in microbial C/N ratio. These changes may have occurred in response to reduced vegetation uptake and woody debris abundance.