Forest Investment Account

Abstract of FII Project R2003-236

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Characterizing the growth of spruce saplings under variable densities of birch cover on warm and cold aspects in the Sub-Boreal Spruce zone

Author(s): Green, D. Scott (University of Northern British Columbia)
Subject: Biodiversity, Forestry, Silviculture/Forest Management Systems
Series: Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program


We propose to examine the dynamics between hardwood and conifer trees in mixed stands on different sites to help establish hardwood cover densities in hardwood-conifer mixed stands in the Sub-Boreal Spruce zone (SBS) of BC. The goal is to increase understory conifer production, while enhancing the capacity to manage ecologically. The underlying assumption is that the relationship between understory light availability and growth of conifer crop trees differs across key environmental gradients (e.g., slope aspect, elevation, continentality). These differences should be predictable across environmental gradients due to their strong influence on key physiological drivers (e.g., soil and air temperature, soil moisture). The initial phase of this study will seek to characterize relations between understory light availability and growth for spruce saplings under variable densities of birch cover across an environmental gradient created by slope aspect. This information will be transferred to end users in an interactive and adaptive manner, which will provide the basis to refine the research objectives for the second phase of this long-term program (i.e., the development of a comprehensive model that could be used to predict conifer performance in mixed stands in the SBS zone).

For further information, please contact D. Scott Green, University of Northern British Columbia (

Updated September 08, 2005 

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