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Project Title: Establishment and Development of Mixed Species Stands across a Range of Microenvironments in the ICHmw2
Project Number: EP 1191
District: Arrow Boundary Forest District
Location: Burton Creek
Lat. 49 57'N, Long. 117 53'W
Principal Researcher: John Pollack
Forest Sciences Section
Southern Interior Forest Region
Phone:(250) 825-1100


  • Shorter term (to 5 years)
    • to measure and compare the variation in growth performance of planted seedlings of 10 ICH species (Lw, Fd, Se, Cw, Hw, Pw, Py, Pl, Ba, Ep)
    • to evaluate germination and establishment success of 4 of these species (Fd, Lw, Ep, Cw) combined with disturbed and undisturbed seedbeds
    • to measure and compare the variation and growth performance of pure Douglas fir to that of a one to one mixture of birch and Douglas-fir.
  • Longer term (5 + years)
    • morphological adaptions (e.g., height growth, bole growth, crown architecture, leaf area distribution, leaf structure)
    • physiological processes contributing to the morphological adaptions (e.g., photosynthesis and respiration)
    • competitive interactions and stand development

Experimental Design:

Two 50m x 150m blocks, with the long edge oriented east-west, were clearcut to create a north-south gradient of light duration to mimic the range of light durations found under a partial canopy.

The light gradient is expected to produce a corresponding soil moisture gradient. Seven east-west light micro-environments are being monitored.


Each block contains 3 replications of ten different species commonly found in the ICH. Trees were planted in 42 north-south oriented rows across each block, with 2.7m spacing between rows, and 3m spacing between seedlings within each row. Each row contains 31 trees, and rows are randomly ordered within a replication.

Seven measurement locations representing a range of light micro-environments found on each block are located along the north-south axis of the blocks. Additional same species seedlings were planted at these locations to form the measurement groups for the short term objectives of this project.

For the Douglas fir/birch component of the experiment, 12 rows of pure Douglas-fir and 12 rows of Douglas-fir alternated with birch were planted as 4 sets of 3 rows each. All sets were randomly assigned across the blocks.

For the germination and establishment component of the experiment, rodent-proofed germination beds were located at each of the seven measuring locations between eight, randomly selected rows. Two replicates of 50 seeds of each species (Fd, Lw, Ep, Cw) were sown in each of the germination beds. There are equal numbers of disturbed (screefed) and undisturbed seedbeds.


  • September, 1994 - site layout
  • Winter, 1994/95 - harvested
  • April, 1995 - planting, year 0 measures
  • 1995-1997 - microclimatic monitoring
  • 1995 - First year 1 measures (September)
  • 1995 - seed sown for germination trial (October)
  • 1996
    • second year measures (September)
    • light measures,
  • 1997
    • Fish-eye photography
    • Stem map perimeter
    • third year measures (September)
  • 1998
    • 3-year progress report
    • PAR measures (Simpson, Comeau, Cameron)
    • Soil moisture measures (Simpson, Adams)
    • fourth year measures
  • 1999 5th year seedling measures and natural regeneration sampling
  • 2000 Climate monitoring continued

Status: Active

Reports and Publications:

Delong, D.L., I. Cameron, C. Thompson and P. Puttonen. 1994. Working Plan. B.C. Min. For., Nelson Forest Region.

Comeau, P. and K. Thomas. 1998. Evaluation of understory light conditions using fisheye photography at Burton Creek. B.C. MOF, Victoria, B.C. Unpublished report.

Simpson, D.G. 1999. At the forest edge: light effects on photosynthesis potential of seven evergreen conifers. B.C. MOF. Vernon, B.C. Unpublished report.

DeLong, D.,  P. Comeau, I. Cameron, D. Simpson, R. Adams, and E. Fanjoy. 2000. How Light Conditions Affect Tree Seedling Performance in the Interior Cedar-Hemlock Subzone: Preliminary Results-EP 1191. Extension Note 050, Nelson Forest Region.