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Long-Term Seedfall, Establishment, Survival, and Growth of Natural and Planted Ponderosa Pine in the Colorado Front Range

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Abstract:

Seedfall, natural regeneration establishment, and growth of planted seedlings was observed from 1981 to 2001 under shelterwood and seedtree overstories in a replicated study in ponderosa pine in the Manitou Experimental Forest in the Colorado Front Range. Good seed crops were produced only every 4 to 6 years, with almost no viable seed produced in intervening years. With seed predation, only 14% of total seedfall was available for germination. Shelterwood overstories containing between 6 and 14 m2 ha−1 stem basal area over scarified seedbeds provided optimal conditions for natural seedling establishment. Survival and growth of planted seedlings was much better than that of natural seedlings. However, poor survival and slow initial growth may require many years to establish a fully stocked forest of natural seedlings.

Keywords: Pinus ponderosa; regeneration; seed viability; silviculture

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Ft. Collins, CO 80526; 2: USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Flagstaff, AZ 86001; 3: USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station (retired).

Publication date: January 1, 2006

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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 Western Journal of Applied Forestry covers the western United States, including Alaska, and western Canada; WJAF will also consider manuscripts reporting research in northern Mexico that has potential application in the southwestern United States.
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