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Factors Limiting Coniferous Seedling Growth in Recently Clearcut Sites Dominated by Gaultheria shallon in CWHvm Subzone

Author(s) or contact(s): C. Messier and J.P. Kimmins
Source: Research Branch
Subject: Seedling Performance
Series: FRDA Report
Other details:  Published 1990. Hardcopy is available.


Nutritional stress has been reported in planted and naturally regenerated conifers growing in association with an ericaceous species, salal (Gaultheria shallon), in clearcuts previously occupied by old-growth western redcedar (Thuja plicata) and western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) (CH site). No such stress was apparent clearcuts previously occupied by natural second-growth western hemlock and amabilis fir (Abies amabilis) stands (HA site) that developed following windthrow in 1907.

In the spring of 1987, a series of field experiments was initiated to investigate some of the major ecological processes affecting the growth of conifers of recently clearcut CH and HA sites; and to investigate some silvicultural solutions to the poor conifer growth on the clearcut CH sites. The approach taken was to study several of the factors that were considered to be key determinants at the broad ecosystem level. The research included studies of: 1) below- and above-ground vegetation recovery, soil nutrient availability, and soil microenvironmental modifications following logging and slashburning; 2) interference by salal 3) coniferous seedling growth on clearcut CH and HA sites under several different experimental conditions; 4) the effects of microsite variation on seedling growth within clearcut CH sites; 5) the effect of light intensity on salal growth, acclimation, survival and competitive ability; and 6) the effects of mechanical site preparation on seedling growth on clearcut CH and HA sites.

FRDA Research Report 149 (2889 KB)

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Updated July 24, 2015