Canadian Forest Service Publications

Competition and facilitation between tree species change with stand development. 2011. Cavard, X.; Bergeron, Y.; Chen, H.Y.H.; Paré, D.; Laganière, J.; Brassard, B. Oikos 120:1683-1695.

Year: 2011

Issued by: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 32926

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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Processes governing tree interspecific interactions, such as facilitation and competition, may vary in strength over time. Th is study tried to unveil them by performing dendrometrical analyses on black spruce Picea mariana, trembling aspen Populus tremuloides and jack pine Pinus banksiana trees from pure and mixed mature boreal forest stands in the Clay Belt of northwestern Quebec and on the tills of northwestern Ontario. We cored 1430 trees and cut 120 for stem analysis across all stand composition types, tree species and study regions. Aspen annual growth rate was initially higher when mixed with conifers, but then progressively decreased over time compared to pure aspen stands, while jack pine growth rate did not diff er with black spruce presence throughout all stages of stand development. When mixed with aspen, black spruce showed a contrary response to aspen, i.e. an initial loss in growth but a positive gain later. On the richer clay soil of the Quebec Clay Belt region, however, both aspen and spruce responses in mixed stands reversed between 37 and 54 years. Overall, our results demonstrate that interspecific interactions were present and tended to change with stand development and among species. Our results also suggest that the nature of interspecific interactions may differ with soil nutrient availability.