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Forests 2016, 7(10), 240; doi:10.3390/f7100240

Radial Growth Response of Black Spruce Stands Ten Years after Experimental Shelterwoods and Seed-Tree Cuttings in Boreal Forest

1
Département des Sciences Fondamentales, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, 555 boul de l’Université, Chicoutimi, QC G7H 2B1, Canada
2
Canadian Wood Fibre Centre, Natural Ressources Canada, 1055 du P.E.P.S., Québec, QC G1V 4C7, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jesus Julio Camarero
Received: 10 August 2016 / Revised: 10 October 2016 / Accepted: 10 October 2016 / Published: 15 October 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Growth Response to Environmental Stress)
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Abstract

Partial cutting is thought to be an alternative to achieve sustainable management in boreal forests. However, the effects of intermediate harvest intensity (45%–80%) on growth remain unknown in black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) B.S.P.) stands, one of the most widely distributed boreal species with great commercial interest. In this study, we analysed the effect of three experimental shelterwood and one seed-tree treatments on tree radial growth in even-aged black spruce stands, 10 years after intervention. Our results show that radial growth response 8–10 years after cutting was 41% to 62% higher than in untreated plots, with stand structure, treatment, tree position relative to skidding trails, growth before cutting and time having significant interactions. The stand structure conditioned tree growth after cutting, being doubled in younger and denser stands. Tree spatial position had a pronounced effect on radial growth; trees at the edge of the skidding trails showed twice the increase in growth compared to interior trees. Dominant trees before cutting located close to the skidding trails manifested the highest growth response after cutting. This research suggests that the studied treatments are effective to enhance radial wood production of black spruce especially in younger stands, and that the edge effect must be considered in silvicultural management planning. View Full-Text
Keywords: dendroecology; ecosystem management; edge effect; even-aged stands; growth yield; partial cutting; sustainable forest management dendroecology; ecosystem management; edge effect; even-aged stands; growth yield; partial cutting; sustainable forest management
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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

Montoro Girona, M.; Morin, H.; Lussier, J.-M.; Walsh, D. Radial Growth Response of Black Spruce Stands Ten Years after Experimental Shelterwoods and Seed-Tree Cuttings in Boreal Forest. Forests 2016, 7, 240.

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