Canadian Forest Service Publications

Newfoundland Balsam Fir and Black Spruce Forests Described by the Newfoundland Forest Service Permanent Sample Plot and Temporary Sample Plot Data Sets. 2011. M.T. Moroni and D.D. Harris. Information Report M-X-224E. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service - Atlantic Forestry Centre, Fredericton, NB.

Year: 2011

Issued by: Atlantic Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 32306

Language: English

Series: Information Report (AFC - Fredericton)

Availability: PDF (download)

Mark record


The Newfoundland Forest Service (NFS) has collected extensive data on the forests of Newfoundland over the past 30 years from intensive measurements of permanent (PSP) and temporary (TSP/TPS) sample plots. The NFS and the Canadian Forest Service cooperated to examine black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) B.S.P.; spruce) and balsam fir (Abies balsamea (L.) Mill; fir) dominated forests described by the NFS PSP and TSP/TPS data sets from the central and western regions of insular Newfoundland. Spruce forests tend to be denser (more stems/ha) than fir forests and composed of smaller diameter trees than fir. Furthermore, fir forests tend to contain higher densities of both 19–25 and >25 cm diameter-at-breast-height (dbh) trees. Although spruce density was not affected by region, the density of >9 cm dbh trees in central fir stands tended to rank higher than in western fir, but western fir forests tended to contain higher densities of larger trees (19–25, and >25 cm dbh). The PSPs were designed to calibrate and validate stand growth projection models, which predict how stand structure (diameter distributions, average stand height, density, self thinning) changes with stand development. The PSPs thus target fully stocked portions of forest stands, avoiding regions with poor growth, large numbers of non-target species, and gaps. Conversely, TSPs and TPSs were designed to sample average forest conditions to provide structural descriptions of Newfoundland’s forest populations. Thus, PSPs tended to represent denser stand conditions with a greater proportion of the dominant species than TSP or TPS plots. Thus, the sampling design for the various NFS sample plots should be considered when they are used to examine variables or questions other than those they were designed to answer.