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Silvicultural options to promote seedling establishment on Kalmia – Vaccinium -dominated sites

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Seedling growth is often hampered on sites dominated by Kalmia angustifolia . In June 2000, a trial was established on a clear-cut site in Quebec, Canada, with a high cover of Kalmia and Vaccinium species. The objectives were to evaluate how soil scarification and fertilization at the time of planting influence early growth and establishment of black spruce [ Picea mariana (Mill.) BSP] and jack pine ( Pinus banksiana Lamb.) seedlings. During the first 2 years, scarification reduced Kalmia cover three-fold and doubled the distance from seedlings to the nearest Kalmia stem. Scarification did not increase soil-extractable NH4-N concentration, and reduced soil potassium, calcium and magnesium. Scarification had no effect on seedling water stress. Seedling growth improved and foliar nutrient concentrations were generally higher in scarified plots than in unscarified control plots. No differences were observed between single- and double-pass scarification for any variables except for ground-level stem diameter of seedlings, which was greater with double-pass scarification (12.1 vs 13.1 mm). Spot fertilization increased seedling growth and foliar nitrogen concentrations. Jack pine growth was greater than black spruce growth, an effect enhanced when seedlings were fertilized.
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Keywords: Fertilization; Kalmia angustifolia; Picea mariana; Pinus banksiana; Quebec; growth; nutrition; scarification; water stress

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune, Direction de la recherche forestière, Sainte-Foy, Canada 2: Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Pacific Forestry Centre, Victoria, Canada 3: Centre de recherche en biologie forestière, Faculté de foresterie et de géomatique, Université Laval, Sainte-Foy, Canada

Publication date: 2005-01-01

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