Southern Interior Forest Region

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Natural regeneration of subalpine fir and Engelmann spruce in partially harvested high-elevation stands in east-central British Columbia

Author(s) or contact(s): O.A. Steen, R.A. Coupe, and M.J. Waterhouse
Source: Southern Interior Forest Region
Subject: Silvicultural Systems
Series: Research Report
Other details:  Published 2008. Hardcopy is available.


This study examines factors affecting natural restocking of small openings created by partial harvesting of high elevation (> 1500 m) Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii Parry ex Engelm.)-subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa [Hook.] Nutt.) stands in east-central British Columbia, Canada. We examined the effects of opening size (0.03, 0.13, and 1.0 ha), seedbed, and seed supply on density of post-logging regeneration for 10 years post-harvest. The effect of opening size on growth release of advance regeneration was also examined. Both seed production and seedbed limited densities of post-logging seedlings. Densities of subalpine fir and Engelmann spruce post-logging regeneration remained low at two sites where seedfall was low. Seedbed scarification significantly increased seedling densities where seed rain was high. In the absence of scarification, abundant seed production had little effect on post-logging seedling densities. Increased height and basal diameter growth of advance regeneration following logging was greater on 1.0-ha than 0.13-ha and 0.03-ha openings. This study demonstrates that post-logging natural regeneration in combination with advance regeneration can restock small openings in partially harvested stands where there is an adequate distribution of mineral soil seedbed and logging or site preparation coincide with or shortly precede a year of abundant seed production.

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Updated March 07, 2008