Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program
FIA Project Y072075

    Natural and artificial regeneration response to opening size and site preparation in a high elevation fir-spruce stand at Sicamous Creek
 
Project lead: Vyse, Alan
Author: Vyse, Alan
Imprint: Kamloops, B.C. : Thompson Rivers University, 2007
Subject: Forest Investment Account (FIA), Forest Management, British Columbia
Series: Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program
Description:
Timber Growth and Value Topic 2.1: Design and analysis of silvicultural systems, Relationship between residual stand structure and understory recruitment and development A description of Sicamous Creek is available in the attached cover letter and in Vyse (1999) and Huggard and Vyse (2002a and b, 2003). The design of silvicultural systems for fir-spruce stands, whether in the sub-boreal region of Prince George, or at high elevation further south in the province, has been a challenge for foresters in British Columbia for eighty years. In the 1920ís the issue was sustaining timber production following partial harvesting of the more valuable spruce component of stands in the Prince George area. In the 1980ís the issue was achieving successful regeneration following clearcutting in the southern half of the province. Today, the sustainability of many other values has been added to create a complex mix of issues that confront the practitioner when managing any forest type throughout the province. This is especially true at high elevation, where managers must deal with public expectations with respect to water quantity and quality, visual concerns, and issues with respect to species at risk. The Sicamous Creek Silvicultural Systems Project, in concert with other long term projects, provides an unrivalled opportunity to re-evaluate old and current silvicultural options and to design new options for future application in this forest type. In this proposal we take advantage of the Sicamous Creek opportunity by re-measuring a series of long term plots that were established in 1995. The plots were established to evaluate the response of fir and spruce advanced regeneration to a range of opening sizes, and the response of planted fir and spruce seedlings to that same range of opening sizes and to site preparation. Additional plots will be established to assess natural regeneration in the opening and site preparation treatments, to assess stocking, and to collect specific measurements required for regeneration modeling purposes . This information will be summarized and combined with that from the soil, vegetation and bryophyte proposals a full picture of regeneration pattern and processes 11 years after logging at Sicamous Creek. We then propose to use this information to forecast future stand development following alternative combinations of harvesting and site preparation using existing models (e.g. SORTIE) or a new regeneration model. Combined with this effort, we propose to carry out extension work to provide practitioners with information on the consequences of alternative silvicultural regimes at the stand level. For example, we will be able to contrast 'semi-natural silviculture', which maintains existing species mixes through natural regeneration, with intensive efforts to increase the proportion of spruce in future stands, and to compare options such as thinning the forest through partial cutting with patch, or strip, cutting. We will also be able to demonstrate the relationship between residual stand structure and understory recruitment and development. We will be able to relate these findings non-tree vegetation, soils and wildlife responses to the Sicamous Creek treatments that have already been published, and to non-tree vegetation findings from work in an companion proposal. We also propose to test the broader application of our work at Sicamous Creek by comparing our findings with those of colleagues working further North (Quesnel Highlands, Lucille Mountain), examples in the literature, and by searching for operational examples of regeneration responses to opening size or site preparation through the range of fir-spruce stands. We will draw conclusions about the feasibility of natural regeneration in high elevation fir spruce stands and make recommendations for the prescription of natural regeneration.
Related projects:  FSP_Y061075
Contact: Vyse, Alan, (250) 372-8607, vyse@telus.net

    Deliverables:

Executive Summary (37Kb)

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Updated August 16, 2010 

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