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Forests 2016, 7(1), 5; doi:10.3390/f7010005

Managed Mixtures of Aspen and White Spruce 21 to 25 Years after Establishment

1
British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Northeast Region, 9000 17th Street, Dawson, BC V1G 4A4, Canada
2
Department of Renewable Resources, 751 General Services Building, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2H1, Canada
3
Canadian Wood Fibre Centre, Canadian Forest Service, Natural Resources Canada, 5320-122 Street, Edmonton, AB T6H 3S5, Canada
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Eric J. Jokela
Received: 5 October 2015 / Revised: 25 November 2015 / Accepted: 17 December 2015 / Published: 24 December 2015
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Abstract

Intimate mixtures of trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) and white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss) are a key feature of western Canadian boreal forests. These mixtures have the potential to produce high yields of merchantable fibre and provide numerous ecological services. Achievement of this potential has been difficult, and often expensive, to realize as a regeneration goal in managed forests. We report 21 to 25 year results of managed mixtures on two study sites where the white spruce was planted, and the density of aspen natural regeneration manipulated within five years of the stand initiation disturbance. On both sites, white spruce mortality did not increase with increasing aspen density. While height and diameter growth of white spruce declined with increasing aspen density, the effect was not entirely consistent across the two sites. Abrasion from aspen branches was the most common source of damage to spruce crowns. Mixed stands had greater merchantable volume production than pure spruce stands based on model projections. Application of aspen harvest at year 60, while protecting the spruce component for a second harvest entry at year 90, was projected to optimize combined yield for the mixedwood stands. View Full-Text
Keywords: trembling aspen; white spruce; boreal mixedwoods; species mixtures trembling aspen; white spruce; boreal mixedwoods; species mixtures
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

Kabzems, R.; Bokalo, M.; Comeau, P.G.; MacIsaac, D.A. Managed Mixtures of Aspen and White Spruce 21 to 25 Years after Establishment. Forests 2016, 7, 5.

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