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Growth and mortality following partial cutting in a trembling aspen – conifer stand: results after 10 years

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Abstract:

We present the effects, 10years after treatment, of different cutting intensities (removal of 0%, 35%, 50%, 65%, and 100% of basal area (BA)) on the response of residual trees in a 60-year-old mixed aspen–conifer stand in Quebec, Canada. While decennial mortality reached 170stems·ha–1 under natural conditions (control, 24m2·ha–1 BA), the removal of mature trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) trees reduced hardwood losses to 125, 105, and 0stems·ha–1, respectively, in the 35%, 50%, and 65% cuttings, without affecting losses of coniferous species (≤25stems·ha–1). The growth response of conifers was generally higher than that of broad-leaved species. For hardwoods, the decennial gains in merchantable BA decreased with respect to the control (3.2m2·ha–1), to 1.2m2·ha–1 in the 35% cut and to 0.9m2·ha–1 in the 50% cut, but increased under the 65% cut (2.5m2·ha–1). For conifers, gains were proportional to removal in partial cuts (2.6–4.9m2·ha–1) and lower in the control (1.7m2·ha–1). As a whole, our results suggest that partial cutting may be an effective means of increasing growth of the softwood proportion occupying the intermediate and suppressed strata in a mixed aspen-dominated stand.

Nous présentons les résultats de coupes de différentes intensités effectuées il y a 10 ans (prélèvements de 0, 35, 50, 65 et 100% de la surface terrière (ST)) sur la réaction des tiges résiduelles d’un peuplement mixte de 60 ans, constitué de tremble et de conifères, au Québec, Canada. Alors que la mortalité décennale a atteint 170 tiges·ha–1 en conditions naturelles (témoin, 24m2·ha–1 de ST), le prélèvement prioritaire du peuplier faux-tremble (Populus tremuloides Michx.) mature a permis de diminuer les pertes de feuillus à 125, 105 et 0 tiges·ha–1, respectivement dans les coupes à 35, 50 et 65 %, sans affecter les pertes de résineux (≤25 tiges·ha–1). La réaction de croissance des conifères a généralement été meilleure que celle des feuillus. Pour les feuillus, les gains décennaux en ST marchande ont diminué par rapport au témoin (3,2m2·ha–1), à 1,2m2·ha–1 dans la coupe à 35% et à 0,9m2·ha–1 dans la coupe à 50%, pour remonter dans la coupe à 65% (2,5m2·ha–1). Pour les conifères, les gains ont été directement proportionnels au prélèvement dans les coupes partielles (2,6 à 4,9m2·ha–1), et moins élevés dans le témoin (1,7m2·ha–1). Dans l’ensemble, nos résultats indiquent que la coupe partielle peut être efficace pour augmenter la croissance de la fraction résineuse des étages intermédiaire et opprimé dans un peuplement mixte dominé par le tremble.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2010

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