Canadian Forest Service Publications
Tree size drives growth interactions in mixed mature stands of black spruce (Picea mariana) and tamarack (Larix laricina). 2023. Roy Proulx, S.; Leduc, A.; Thiffault, N.; Ameztegui, A. Forest Ecology and Management volume 543, pages 1-10.
Issued by: Laurentian Forestry Centre
Catalog ID: 41016
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Little is known about the growth interactions of black spruce (Picea mariana) and tamarack (Larix laricina), two important commercial tree species of the Canadian boreal forest. We investigated growth relations between black spruce and tamarack in mature mixed stands. We sampled tree-rings of 223 black spruce and 103 tamaracks to analyze their basal area increment over 10 years. We mapped, identified the species, and measured the diameter at breast height of each neighbouring tree in 112 circular plots of 400 m2 to analyze basal area increments through spatially explicit models. The model estimating crowding effect of neighbouring tree was adjusted with 4 parameters expressing the effect of distance, size of neighbours, size of target tree and species. Our models suggested that the size of neighbouring trees was the main parameter influencing competition between the studied species. Black spruce basal area increments over 10 years declined up to 22 cm2 when surrounded by large neighbours. Tamarack basal area increments declined by 48 cm2 due to competition by large neighbours. However, the overall crowding effect showed that tamarack was more sensitive to competition than black spruce and the intraspecific and interspecific competition had similar effect. Our research provides insight on growth relations between two important commercial species of the Canadian boreal forest.