Forest Science Program


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Will Minor Spruce Components of Boreal Broadleaf Stands Replace Themselves after Clearcut Harvesting?

Author(s) or contact(s): R. Kabzems and C. DeLong
Source: Forest Science Program
Subject: Hardwoods and Mixedwoods, Reforestation
Series: Technical Report
Other details:  Published 2011. Hardcopy is available.
 

Abstract

We examined natural regeneration of white spruce (Picea glauca) in 13 broadleaf stands in two areas of northeastern British Columbia, 14-25 years after harvest. Spruce natural regeneration was present in 11 of the 13 stands. Fort Nelson stands had more uniform spruce distribution and higher stocking than Dawson Creek stands. Regression analyses indicated that mineral soil seedbeds and seed source location relative to the harvested stand were able to predict Dawson Creek spruce regeneration, with a large component of unexplained variation. Distribution of spruce regeneration was more variable in harvest-origin stands than spruce found in mature aspen-dominated stands of wildfire origin. Model simulations indicated that rotation lengths of at least 80-100 years would be required for post-harvest spruce natural regeneration to contribute 10-20% of stand merchantable volume at the next rotation.

This technical report addresses the following questions:
1. What is the occurrence and distribution of white spruce natural regeneration in broadleaf-dominated stands that are being managed for broadleaf production in northern British Columbia?
2. How does this distribution compare with the distribution of a minor white spruce component in wildfire-origin broadleaf-dominated stands?
3. Can a combination of inventory and site information provide reliable prediction of white spruce natural regeneration?
4. Will the post-harvest broadleaf-dominated stands develop into stands similar to those that occurred previously on site?

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Updated March 24, 2011