To assess the differences between forest management and natural disturbance, we retrospectively compared crown cover of woody plant species between burned and clearcut sites after 5, 14, and 27 years of succession. All 16 sites had been dominated by black spruce (Picea mariana)
before disturbance. We found no difference in species richness between disturbance types, but richness was lowest on 5-year-old sites for both disturbances. Burned and clearcut sites differed in the cover of woody plant species, differences increasing slightly with time since disturbance.
Both balsam fir (Abies balsamea) and black spruce were more abundant on 14- and 27-year-old clearcut plots than burned plots. Black spruce cover was always greater than fir, but the spruce:fir ratio on clearcut plots was lower than on burned plots. Our data suggest that fire and clearcut
logging affect postdisturbance succession differently. Contrary to other studies, logging resulted in more commercially valuable black spruce than fire, and broad-leaved woody plants were not in greater abundance on logged sites. However, the persistence of fir through logging suggests that
the resulting forest would be of lower commercial value than a pure black spruce forest.
No Supplementary Data
natural disturbance management;
Document Type: Regular Article
Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Forest Resources and Agrifoods P.O. Box 3014 Station B, Happy Valley-Goose Bay NL Canada A0P 1E0
College of the North Atlantic Labrador West Campus Labrador City NL Canada A2V 2Y1
Publication date: 2005-03-01
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Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Northern Journal of Applied Forestry covers northeastern, midwestern, and boreal forests in the United States and Canada.
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