Height development of shade-tolerant conifer saplings in multiaged Acadian forest stands
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Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 37: 2715-2723.
Understory growth dynamics of northern conifer species were studied in four stands managed under multiaged silvicultural systems in eastern Maine. Height growth of Picea rubens Sarg., Abies balsamea (L.) Mill., and Tsuga canadensis (L.) Carr. saplings between 0.5 and 6.0 m in height was related to the proportion open sky (POS), using sapling height as a covariate. Height growth of T. Canadensis equaled A. balsamea and exceeded P. rubens under very low light levels (POS < 0.1) but is much less responsive to both increasing POS and taller heights, reaching 50% of its maximum height growth at a POS of only 0.09. Abies balsamea outgrew P. rubens under similar dark conditions; at higher light levels (POS > 0.10), both species grew similarly. Evidently, no feasible overstory manipulation of light alone can promote more rapid height development of P. rubens saplings over A. balsamea. A nonlinear light-prediction model using stand basal area is linked with height-growth prediction equations to quantify sapling development from 0.5 to 6 m. Depending on overstory density, P. rubens requires a height advantage of 0.14-0.33 m over a 0.5 m tall A. balsamea to reach a height of 6 m over the same time period.
Moores, Andrew R.; Seymour, Robert S.; Kenefic, Laura S. 2007. Height development of shade-tolerant conifer saplings in multiaged Acadian forest stands. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 37: 2715-2723.