Canadian Forest Service Publications

Effects of overstory retention and site preparation on growth of planted white spruce seedlings in deciduous and coniferous dominated boreal plains mixedwoods. 2008. Gradowski, T.; Sidders, D.M.; Keddy, T.J.; Lieffers, V.J.; Landhäusser, S.M. Forest Ecology and Management 255 255(11): 3744-3749.

Year: 2008

Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 30988

Language: English

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

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Abstract

Survival and growth of planted white spruce was assessed under partial harvest treatments and different site preparation techniques in mixedwood forests of two compositions prior to logging: deciduous dominated (d-dom) - primarily comprised of mature trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) and coniferous dominated (c-dom) - primarily comprised of mature white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss). Levels of overstory retention were 0% (clearcut), 50% and 75% of original basal area, and site preparation techniques were inverted mounding, high speed mixing, scalping and control (no treatment). The survival and growth of white spruce were assessed seven years after planting. The experiment was established as a part of the Ecosystem Management Emulating Natural Disturbance (EMEND) experiment located in northern Alberta, Canada. In the c-dom, the 50% and 75% retention of overstory resulted in reduced growth and survival of white spruce seedlings compared to clearcuts. In contrast, in the d-dom, the seedlings performed best in sites that had 50% of the overstory retained. For the c-dom, the mounding and mixing treatments yielded the best growth of spruce seedlings, while scalping yielded the worst. In the d-dom, spruce growth was highest in sites with the mixing treatment. In the d-dom, growth and survival of the planted spruce was greater than in the c-dom. The natural regeneration of deciduous trees was suppressed by the retention of canopy regardless of original composition.