Canadian Forest Service Publications

Ecosystem response 20 years after intensive forest harvesting for bioenergy in Betula papyrifera stands in central Newfoundland: a multidisciplinary approach. 2014. Arsenault, A.; Titus, B.; Thiffault, E.; Baines, P.; Sveshnikov, D. Abstract. Page 496 in J.A. Parrrota; C.F. Moser; A.J. Scherzer; N.E. Koerth; D.R. Lederle, editors. Sustaining Forests, Sustaining People: the Role of Research. XXIV IUFRO World Congress, 5–11 October 2014, Salt Lake City, USA. The International Forestry Review Vol.16(5). doi: 10.1505/146554814814281701

Year: 2014

Issued by: Atlantic Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 35882

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1505/146554814814281701

† This site may require a fee

Mark record


Bioenergy produced from biomass left behind from forestry operations is renewable, reduces fossil fuel use, and has economic potential in Canada. However, it is important to understand the environmental impacts of intensive forest harvesting and use this knowledge to guide policy and develop best management practices to ensure the sustainable management of our forests. We examined forest ecosystem response to conventional and whole-tree harvesting of white birch stands 20 years after treatment along a productivity gradient at three locations in Central Newfoundland. Clear-cutting significantly increased the diversity of vascular plants, most likely because of increased light levels, but the intensity of biomass removals did not appear to affect the abundance or diversity of vascular plant species. However, significant differences in the abundance of deadwood and associated nonvascular flora persisted 20 years after treatment. The combination of clear-cutting and intensive browsing by moose accelerated succession when conifers were abundant in the understory. Sites with low conifer regeneration developed into alder thickets. The intensity of biomass removal did not appear to influence this result, however, the whole tree harvest treatment was associated with lower conifer growth and volume at one of the sites. Relationships between forest structure, species diversity, forest productivity, and soil and foliar nutrients will be discussed within the context of intensive biomass harvesting

Plain Language Summary