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Treatments were established on two sites in the northern Sierra Nevada Mountains of California to study the effects of shrub shading and soil moisture competition on survival and growth of understory white fir saplings. Levels of shrub control ranged from 0 to 95 percent and white fir sapling survival ranged from 56 to 100 percent depending on the site and the experimental treatment. Soil moisture availability was the primary factor which limited white fir growth on both sites. Treatments in which both soil moisture was increased and shade was provided yielded 200 percent increase in white fir leader growth after 4 years. On one site, growth increased 140 to 160 percent when soil moisture was increased but no shade was provided. Significant changes in frequency distribution patterns of height growth were also observed in released white fir populations. The results of these experiments suggest that large (80 percent) reductions in shrub cover may be necessary to achieve release of white fir from overstory shrub competition. Forest Sci. 28:309-320.
Associate Professor, Department of Botany, University of California, Davis, CA 95616
Publication date: June 1, 1982
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Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.