The Lucille Mountain silvicultural systems project is a multi-disciplinary research trial that explores the effects of various harvest treatments on a stand in the moist mild Engelmann Spruce-Subalpine Fir subzone (ESSFmm). The trial, established in 1992, includes clearcut, patch cut, irregular shelterwood, group retention, and single-tree selection systems. Its initial focus was to evaluate the effectiveness of various silvicultural systems for achieving regeneration, but other research topics have been added. We present 8-year results of studies of the establishment and growth of planted seedlings, including investigations of the roles of light, soil temperature, and nitrogen availability. Studies of seed supply and the effects of seedbed condition on germination and survival have implications for the potential of natural regeneration to reforest the site. Growth and mortality in the residual stand after partial cutting at the individual-tree level and the stand level are reported. Taken together, these studies begin to elucidate complex relationships among the various components of the stand: the retained canopy trees, the vegetation community, and the natural, artificial, and advance regeneration.
Detailed climate studies provide additional baseline data for the ESSF, allow comparisons between conditions in the partial cuts and the clearcut, and provide background for interpretation of other studies. Since 1995, wind has also been monitored, along with wind damage in the partial cuts and adjacent to the clearcut. Other investigations reported here include the effects of partial cutting on the abundance and growth rates of arboreal lichens used by mountain caribou, and decomposition rates of forest floor litter.
Working Paper 59 (4538 KB)
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Updated July 24, 2015