Influence of management intensity on the productivity of early successional Acadian stands in eastern Maine
Authors: Nelson, A.S.; Wagner, R.G.; Saunders, M.R.; Weiskittel, A.R.
Source: Forestry, Volume 86, Number 1, 10 January 2013 , pp. 79-90(12)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Abstract:Early successional stands composed of naturally regenerated hardwood and conifer species are abundant in the forests of northeastern North America. Substantial improvements in the composition and growth of these stands may be possible with early management intervention. Unfortunately, stand responses to early management inputs are poorly understood since many of these stands are rarely manipulated. We examined the response of early successional stands to combinations of two management intensities (with and without enrichment planting and different levels of vegetation control) and three compositional objectives (hardwood, mixedwood and conifer). The treatments were designed to represent management options available in the region, including hardwood thinning, conifer release and a combination of treatments to promote hardwood–conifer mixedwood stands. Seven years after treatment, yields of the two hardwood thinning treatments ranged from 43.4 to 56.6 Mg ha−1, which were similar to the 52.9 Mg ha−1 yield of the untreated control but with 17 and 46% lower densities, respectively. In the conifer release treatments, the removal of hardwoods promoted conifer dominance and resulted in yields between 19.9 and 30.4 Mg ha−1 7 years after treatment. The conifer release treatments will likely be dominated by conifers in the future with varying hardwood densities due to hardwoods establishing in gaps without conifers. After 7 years, yields of the mixedwood treatments were between 19 and 47% greater than the conifer release treatments due to the retention of thinned hardwood stems and represent stands that dominate much of the forestland in the region. Results from this study demonstrated that early successional stands can be effectively managed during early stand development to improve growth and the longer term composition.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2013-01-10
- Forestry publishes refereed papers on all aspects of research, practice and policy that promote the sustainable development of forests, woodlands and trees. In considering suitability for publication attention is given to both the originality of contributions and their practical application. Preference is usually given to work undertaken in the temperate and/or boreal zones; only articles of exceptional merit from tropical zones will also be considered.