In the boreal forest, establishment of tree regeneration is tightly linked to both mast years and the availability of adequate germination beds for seedlings. We took advantage of a mast year (2006) in the eastern boreal mixedwood to compare seedling establishment in 2007 and seedling
survival 2 and 4 years later on sections of fallen logs and equivalent areas of adjacent forest floor. Several factors that could explain establishment of seedlings on logs were measured, including wood resistance, density, moisture content, and C/N ratio. Our results show that small-seeded
species, such as white birch (Betula papyrifera Marsh.) and white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss), establish
preferentially on logs whereas balsam fir (Abies balsamea (L.) Mill.), a relatively large-seeded species, establishes more often on the forest floor. Using logistic regressions, we confirmed that the
probability of seedling establishment on logs declines with wood resistance, while the survival probability is inversely proportional to stand deciduous basal area. Survival rate was similar for seedlings established on the forest floor and on logs. However, none of the white birch seedlings
established on the forest floor in 2007 were alive by 2011. Even following an exceptional mast year, log occurrence in eastern mixedwood stands would not suffice to obtain adequate white spruce stocking levels.
Chaire AFD, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT), 445 blvd. Université, Rouyn-Noranda, QC J9X 5E4, Canada. 2:
Department of Geography, Planning and Environment, Concordia University, 1455 de Maisonneuve W, H 1255-26 (Hall Building), Montreal, QC H3G 1M8, Canada.
Publication date: August 31, 2012
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