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Effects of Seeding Grass and Clover on Growth and Water Potential of Douglas-fir Seedlings

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Abstract:

Container-grown Douglas-fir seedlings were planted in 1978 in a western redcedar/myrtle pachistima habitat type. Planting was followed by an orchard grass/timothy/red clover treatment seeded at a rate of 28 kg/ha. Douglas-fir water potential () and growth rate were (1) compared between grass-seeded and unseeded sites and (2) correlated to aboveground biomass in 1979 and 1980. In 1979, both predawn and midday  were significantly reduced by the grass treatment after a month with less than 12 mm of rain. No significant  differences were detected in 1980. Seeding grass on certain sites caused significant reductions in Douglas-fir diameter, shoot growth, and seedling heights. Canonical correlation was used to relate standing biomass of vegetation within 18 cm of a Douglas-fir seedling to its  and growth parameters. Only grasses and shrubs were associated with increasing Douglas-fir moisture stress. Douglas-fir  could not be related to the growth parameters measured. Water is probably not the only limiting factor nor even the primary limiting factor in regard to Douglas-fir seedling competition in the western redcedar/pachistima habitat type. Forest Sci. 29:166-179.

Keywords: Dactylis glomerata; Pseudotsuga menziesii; competition; northern Idaho; orchard grass

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Fort Collins, CO 80526

Publication date: March 1, 1983

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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.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.702
    Ranking: 16 of 66 in forestry

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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