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Open AccessArticle

Partial Harvest in Paludified Black Spruce Stand: Short-Term Effects on Water Table and Variation in Stem Diameter

1
Centre d’étude de la Forêt, Université du Québec à Montréal, C.P. 8888, Succ. Centre-Ville, Montréal, QC H3C 3P8, Canada
2
Centre D’étude de la Forêt et Faculté de Foresterie, de Géographie et de Géomatique, Pavillon Abitibi-Price, Université Laval, Québec, QC G1V 0A6, Canada
3
Institut de Recherche sur les Forêts, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Rouyn-Noranda, QC J9X 4E5, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Stephen H. Schoenholtz
Forests 2021, 12(3), 271; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12030271
Received: 15 December 2020 / Revised: 31 January 2021 / Accepted: 23 February 2021 / Published: 26 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
The boreal forest is considered to be a low productivity forest due to its cold climate and poorly drained soils promoting paludification. These factors create conditions favouring accumulation of undecomposed organic matter, which causes declining growth rates of forest stands, ultimately converting mature stands into peatlands. Under these conditions, careful logging is conducted during winter, which minimizes soil disturbance in northwestern Quebec boreal forest. This results in water table rise, increased light availability and paludification. Our main objective was to evaluate the short-term effect of partial harvesting as an alternative method to careful logging in winter to mitigate water table rise on black spruce (Picea mariana [Mill.] B.S.P.) stands. We quantified tree stem diameter variation and daily variation in water table depth in mature spruce stands before and after partial harvest (basal area reduction of 40%) and girdling (same basal area reduction with delayed mortality) during 2016 and 2017 growing seasons. Water table variation prior to and following silvicultural treatments did not differ one year after treatment. Daily stem diameter variation in black spruce did not differ between treatments and control. Furthermore, temperature exerted a positive effect on variation in water table and on stem diameter. These results suggest that partial harvest could be more effective than clearcutting to mitigate negative effects of a high water table while limiting paludification. View Full-Text
Keywords: boreal forest hydrology; forest management; black spruce-feather moss domain; paludification; partial harvest; water table level boreal forest hydrology; forest management; black spruce-feather moss domain; paludification; partial harvest; water table level
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MDPI and ACS Style

Roy Proulx, S.; Jutras, S.; Leduc, A.; Mazerolle, M.J.; Fenton, N.J.; Bergeron, Y. Partial Harvest in Paludified Black Spruce Stand: Short-Term Effects on Water Table and Variation in Stem Diameter. Forests 2021, 12, 271. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12030271

AMA Style

Roy Proulx S, Jutras S, Leduc A, Mazerolle MJ, Fenton NJ, Bergeron Y. Partial Harvest in Paludified Black Spruce Stand: Short-Term Effects on Water Table and Variation in Stem Diameter. Forests. 2021; 12(3):271. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12030271

Chicago/Turabian Style

Roy Proulx, Samuel; Jutras, Sylvain; Leduc, Alain; Mazerolle, Marc J.; Fenton, Nicole J.; Bergeron, Yves. 2021. "Partial Harvest in Paludified Black Spruce Stand: Short-Term Effects on Water Table and Variation in Stem Diameter" Forests 12, no. 3: 271. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12030271

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