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Forests 2015, 6(12), 4573-4587; doi:10.3390/f6124387

The Influence of Stocking and Stand Composition on Productivity of Boreal Trembling Aspen-White Spruce Stands

Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2H1, Canada
Current address: Colegio de Postgraduados, Campus Montecillo, Postgrado en Ciencias Forestales, Texcoco 56230, Mexico
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Eric J. Jokela
Received: 19 October 2015 / Revised: 25 November 2015 / Accepted: 9 December 2015 / Published: 15 December 2015
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Abstract

We analyzed productivity, in terms of periodic annual increment (PAI) in volume, of pure and mixed unmanaged naturally regenerated boreal stands mainly comprised of Populus tremuloides Michx. (trembling aspen) and Picea glauca (Moench) Voss (white spruce) ranging from 25–260 years old, in Alberta, Canada. Measures of density, site occupancy (Reineke’s stand density index-SDI), height, and site quality were evaluated in non-linear regression models aiming to explain the variation in PAI for the separate component species and for the entire stand. Analyses also included examination of the influence of stand composition. Results indicated a positive effect of both density of deciduous trees and of the percentage of deciduous tree stand basal area on trembling aspen volume PAI. White spruce PAI was positively influenced by spruce and aspen basal area, although effects of aspen were small. Height of both aspen and spruce were the most consistent independent variables in the models tested. Maximum PAI was achieved in mixed stands when site occupancy of both species was at its maximum, indicating the ecological combining ability of these two species. Variation in maximum stocking densities (i.e., stockability) has a strong influence on increment in these forests and is a major factor leading to increased productivity of mixed compared to pure stands. View Full-Text
Keywords: boreal mixedwoods; ecological combining ability; growth rate; periodic annual increment boreal mixedwoods; ecological combining ability; growth rate; periodic annual increment
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Reyes-Hernández, V.J.; Comeau, P.G. The Influence of Stocking and Stand Composition on Productivity of Boreal Trembling Aspen-White Spruce Stands. Forests 2015, 6, 4573-4587.

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