Canadian Forest Service Publications

Regeneration dynamics after patch cutting and scarification in yellow birch - conifer stands. 2010. Prévost, M.; Raymond, P.; Lussier, J.M. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 40: 357-369.

Year: 2010

Issued by: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 32094

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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We present the 6 year effects of different cutting patterns (patch-selection cutting with 20, 30 and 40 m diameter gaps. 1 ha patch clear-cut, and uncut control) and spot scarification, on seedbed coverage and regeneration dynamics in yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis Britton) - conifer stands in eastern Quebec, Canada. After 3 years, yellow birch had established better in cutting patterns with gaps than in the patch clear-cut and in the control, while its density was 7 times higher in scarified than in nonscarified subplots. After 6 years, scarified openings and the borders of openings had 3-5 times more seedlings >30 cm in height than nonscarified openings and the understory between the gaps. The loss of advance growth in openings was the main result for conifer species, although recruitment of new balsam fir (Abies balsamea (L.) Mill.) seedlings was accelerated by scarification. Despite the abundance of red spruce (Picea rubens Sarg.) seed-trees on the site, our traitment combinations failed to promote its natural regeneration. Varying gap size did not change the total density of competing vegetation but modified the composition of this shrub layer. Our 6 year results suggest that maintaining conifer species, and the mixed composition of the stands, is uncertain over the long term.