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Silvicultural responses of two spruce plantations to midrotation commercial thinning in New Brunswick

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Abstract:

A midrotation commercial thinning experiment conducted in two independent spruce plantations compared several tree selection strategies as both early (age 19 or 24years) single and double (again at age 30 or 34years) entries over a 16year period. A delayed (age 30 or 32years) single-entry thinning and unthinned portions of the plantations served as references for the other treatments. With the exception of 50% systematic row thinnings, removal intensities were held relatively constant at about 40% of stand basal area. All of the thinning treatments satisfied the objectives of focusing diameter and volume growth on a reduced number of stems and making merchantable volume available during the rotation. Early single-entry thinning allowed 30–50m3/ha to be harvested, increasing quadratic mean diameter and mean merchantable volume per stem at the end of the observation period by 10% and 24%, respectively, over unthinned stands. A second thinning removed an additional 48–64m3/ha and increased diameter and volume gains to 25% and 71%, respectively. Only marginal differences were observed between the tree-selection strategies, and there were no overall gross total or gross merchantable volume gains or losses associated any of the thinning treatments relative to the unthinned plantations.

Une expérience sur l’éclaircie commerciale appliquée en milieu de rotation dans deux plantations indépendantes d’épinette a permis de comparer plusieurs stratégies de sélection des arbres sur une période de 16 ans dans le cadre d’une éclaircie hâtive (19 ou 24ans) unique ou répétée plus tard (30 ou 34ans). Une éclaircie unique et tardive (30 ou 32ans) de même que les portions non éclaircies des plantations ont servi de témoins pour les autres traitements. À l’exception des éclaircies systématiques en rangée à 50%, toutes les autres intensités d’éclaircie ont été maintenues relativement constantes autour de 40% de la surface terrière. Tous les types d’éclaircie ont atteint les objectifs de concentrer la croissance en diamètre et en volume sur un nombre réduit de tiges et de rendre disponible un certain volume marchand au cours de la rotation. L’éclaircie hâtive unique a permis de récolter 30 à 50m3/ha et d’augmenter le diamètre moyen quadratique et le volume marchand moyen par tige à la fin de la période d’observation de respectivement 10% et 24% par rapport aux peuplements non éclaircis. Une deuxième éclaircie a enlevé un volume additionnel de 48 à 64m3/ha et a produit des gains en diamètre et en volume de respectivement 25% et 71%. Les différences entre les stratégies de sélection des tiges étaient seulement marginales et, globalement, il n’y a pas eu de gains ou de pertes en volume total brut ou en volume marchand brut associés aux traitements d’éclaircie par rapport aux plantations non éclaircies.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2008

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  • Published since 1971, this monthly journal features articles, reviews, notes and commentaries on all aspects of forest science, including biometrics and mensuration, conservation, disturbance, ecology, economics, entomology, fire, genetics, management, operations, pathology, physiology, policy, remote sensing, social science, soil, silviculture, wildlife and wood science, contributed by internationally respected scientists. It also publishes special issues dedicated to a topic of current interest.
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