Canadian Forest Service Publications

Do harvest methods and soil type impact the regeneration and growth of black spruce stands in northwestern Quebec? 2010. Lafleur, B.; Paré, D.; Fenton, N.J.; Bergeron, Y. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 40: 1843-1851.

Year: 2010

Issued by: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 31809

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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Machinery traffic restrictions during forest harvest have been adopted to minimize soil damage and protect tree regeneration. However, this practice is questioned for paludifying black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) BSP) stands in which severe soil disturbance by wildfire restores forest productivity. The objective of this study was to determine, 8 years after harvest, how soil disturbance created by clearcutting and careful logging affected black spruce natural regeneration and growth and how this effect varied by soil type. While regeneration density was higher following careful logging, stocking was not influenced by harvest method. Regenerating stands were taller following clearcutting despite potentially greater damages to preestablished regeneration. Compared with careful logging, clearcutting also resulted in reduced cover of Sphagnum spp. and ericaceous shrubs. Spruce stem density and stocking were both higher on organic and subhydric soils and lower on mesic soils. No significant interactions were observed between harvest method and soil type, indicating that the observation of taller black spruce stands and adequate stocking with clearcutting may be applicable to all soil types considered in this study. These results suggest that an adequate level of soil disturbance is an important part of forest regeneration, particularly in ecosystems where an autogenic reduction in productivity occurs.