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Plant Abundances after Clearcutting and Stripcutting in Central Labrador

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Abstract:

We compared plant abundances between clearcuts (n = 10) and stripcuts (n = 6) on former Picea mariana sites harvested in the mid-1970s and mid-1990s in central Labrador, Newfoundland, and Labrador, Canada. Redundancy analysis (RDA) found logging methods an important determinant of conifer abundance for 1990s logging, showing P. mariana associated with clearcuts and Abies balsamea associated with stripcuts. Our RDA of the years combined found logging methods unimportant, but the year of logging was the most important factor followed by pH and drainage. The size distribution of trees, with the exception of Alnus rugosa, increased with stand age. Geocaulon lividum and Cladina arbuscula were associated with 1970s logging and coarse woody debris, Vaccinium vitis-idaea, and Cornus canadensis were associated with 1990s logging. Sphagnum spp. was positively associated with imperfectly drained sites and high pH, and Pleurozium schreberi was positively associated with moderately drained sites. Our results suggest only a short-term effect of logging methods on regeneration, and similarities may have resulted from the small opening sizes and irregular shapes of our clearcuts. We suggest that stripcutting to promote P. mariana regeneration may offer little, if any, benefit over clearcutting when distances between forest canopies within clearcuts are typically 300 m or less.

Keywords: Abies balsamea; Picea mariana; boreal forest; logging; regeneration

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1Leanne T. Elson (), Western Newfoundland Model Forest, Corner Brook, NL A2H 6C3, Canada., Email: lelson@wnmf.com

Publication date: June 1, 2007

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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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