Journal Article

Ecophysiology and growth of advance red spruce and balsam fir regeneration after partial cutting in yellow birch–conifer stands

Daniel Dumais and Marcel Prévost

in Tree Physiology

Volume 28, issue 8, pages 1221-1229
Published in print August 2008 | ISSN: 0829-318X
Published online August 2008 | e-ISSN: 1758-4469 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/treephys/28.8.1221
Ecophysiology and growth of advance red spruce and balsam fir regeneration after partial cutting in yellow birch–conifer stands

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We investigated ecophysiological and growth responses of short (0.4 to 1.3 m in height) advance regeneration of red spruce (Picea rubens Sarg.) and balsam fir (Abies balsamea L.) six years after removal of 0, 40, 50, 60 and 100% of the overstory basal area (BA) in two yellow birch–conifer stands. Partial cuts significantly increased stomatal conductance of red spruce only. Light-saturated photosynthesis (leaf-area basis) of both species increased with BA removal, but unlike red spruce, specific leaf area (SLA) of balsam fir decreased with increased cutting intensity. Partial cuts appreciably increased the concentration of N and Ca in red spruce and balsam fir foliage, respectively, and resulted in decreased foliar concentrations of K in red spruce and Mg in balsam fir. The height and lateral growth of both species increased with BA removal, although partial cuts were more beneficial to balsam fir. The data suggest that short advance regeneration of red spruce and balsam fir can coexist under partial overstory conditions, but balsam fir has physiological characteristics and a capacity for morphological adjustment (SLA) that places it at an advantage when in competition with red spruce.

Keywords: crown morphology; gas exchange; natural regeneration; nutrient status; partial overstory; photosynthetic acclimation; specific leaf area; temperate mixed-wood forest; water stress

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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