Journal Article

The effect of roots and litter of Calamagrostis canadensis on root sucker regeneration of Populus tremuloides

Simon M. Landhäusser, Tara L. Mulak and Victor J. Lieffers

in Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research

Published on behalf of Institute of Chartered Foresters

Volume 80, issue 4, pages 481-488
Published in print October 2007 | ISSN: 0015-752X
Published online September 2007 | e-ISSN: 1464-3626 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/forestry/cpm035
The effect of roots and litter of Calamagrostis canadensis on root sucker regeneration of Populus tremuloides

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  • Conservation of the Environment (Environmental Science)
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Marsh reed grass (Calamagrostis canadensis (Michx.) Beauv.) is a common, highly competitive grass native to the boreal mixedwood forest. This grass increases in abundance after clear-cut logging but little is known about its effects on trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) sucker regeneration. The effects of Calamagrostis sod and its litter on aspen regeneration were studied in two separate greenhouse studies. Calamagrostis sod did not affect the initiation of suckers, but resulted in 30 per cent fewer suckers emerging above the soil that were smaller and had 40 per cent less leaf area. Calamagrostis litter had little effect on the initiation and number of emerged suckers; however, it delayed emergence by 10 days. The physical barrier by roots and litter of Calamagrostis reduced or delayed the expansion of suckers and therefore prolonged their dependence on root reserves. By the time the suckers reached the surface, they had to compete for light with Calamagrostis shoots that had emerged a week earlier. This, coupled with low soil temperatures associated with Calamagrostis in other experiments, will significantly reduce the number and growth of suckers. Any reduction and delay in sucker emergence will decrease aspen regeneration and productivity since the growing season in the boreal forest region is short.

Journal Article.  4529 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Conservation of the Environment (Environmental Science) ; Environmental Sustainability ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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