Environmental and Historical Factors Affecting Red and White Fir Regeneration in Ecotonal Forests

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Abstract:

Diameter-class distributions of thirty mixed red fir/white fir forests from Yosemite National Park, California, are used to examine patterns of canopy dominance and regeneration modes of these two zonal dominants. Successful regeneration of each species is associated with open canopies and nutrient rich substrates. Red fir regenerates in greater numbers on a wider range of sites, but suffers greater mortality than white fir. Patterns of canopy dominance indicate that white fir tolerates canopy closure and dominates on nutrient-rich sites in montane forests, whereas red fir is less tolerant of shading and dominates on disturbed, nutrient-poor substrates in subalpine forests. These patterns are interpreted as adaptive responses to complex interactions of site factors, disturbance frequency, and biotic constraints along an elevational gradient. Forest Sci. 32:339-347.

Keywords: Sierra Nevada; TWINSPAN classification; Yosemite National Park; diameter-class distribution

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602

Publication date: June 1, 1986

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