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Natural Regeneration of Small Patch Cuts in a Southern Interior ICH Forest

Author(s) or contact(s): J.L. Heineman, S.W. Simard, and W.J. Mather
Source: Research Branch
Subject: Silvicultural Systems
Series: Working Paper
Other details:  Published 2002. Hardcopy is available.


Almost all harvested sites in the Interior Cedar Hemlock zone are currently planted, but natural regeneration can be a viable reforestation alternative in small patch cuts or where a partial canopy is retained. Natural regeneration is also vitally important in helping to maintain the natural diversity of most reforested sites. In 1997, five small, variable-sized patch cuts in an ICHmw2 forest were studied to determine the effects of opening size, edge characteristics, and substrate quality on the distribution and composition of natural regeneration. All of the openings were readily regenerated with conifers within 50 m of forest edges, but regeneration was patchy in the centre of the opening that exceeded 100 m in width. Regeneration was denser at the south than north edge of openings, and most was of seed-origin that had germinated on forest floor materials. Species composition was similar at the north and south edges, but varied across the opening in response to changes in resource conditions and distance from seed source. Composition of the natural regeneration closely resembled that of the overstorey in adjacent stands.

Working Paper 64 (894 KB)

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Updated July 24, 2015