Canadian Forest Service Publications

Patterns of initial versus delayed regeneration of white spruce. 2006. Peters, V.S.; Macdonald, S.E.; Dale, M.R.T. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 36(6): 1597-1609.

Year: 2006

Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 26330

Language: English

Availability: Order paper copy (free), PDF (request by e-mail)

Mark record


The timing of white spruce regeneration in aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) – white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss) boreal mixedwood stands is an important factor in stand development. We examined boreal mixedwood stands representing a 59-year period of time since fire and determined (1) whether and when a delayed regeneration period of white spruce occurred, (2) whether the relative abundance of initial (<20 years) versus delayed (=20 years postfire) regeneration is related to seed availability at the time of the fire, and (3) what are the important regeneration substrates for initial versus delayed regeneration. Initial regeneration occurred primarily on mineral soil or humus, while delayed regeneration established primarily on logs and peaked 38–44 years after fire. Of the 20 stands investigated, seven were dominated by initial regeneration, six were dominated by delayed regeneration, and seven were even mixtures of both. The dominance of a site by initial or delayed regeneration could not be simply explained by burn timing relative to mast years or distance to seed source; our results suggested that fire severity and the competitive influence of initial regeneration on delayed regeneration were important at fine scales. Based on our results we describe several possible postfire successional pathways for boreal mixedwood forests.