SimardLecomteBergeronEtAl2007

Reference

Simard, M., Lecomte, N., Bergeron, Y., Bernier, P.Y. and Pare, D. (2007) Forest productivity decline caused by successional paludificationof boreal soils. Ecological Applications, 17(6):1619-1637.

Abstract

Long-term forest productivity decline in boreal forests has been extensivelystudied in the last decades, yet its causes are still unclear. Soilconditions associated with soil organic matter accumulation arethought to be responsible for site productivity decline. The objectivesof this study were to determine if paludification of boreal soilsresulted in reduced forest productivity, and to identify changesin the physical and chemical properties of soils associated withreduction in productivity. We used a chronosequence of 23 blackspruce stands ranging in postfire age from 50 to 2350 years andcalculated three different stand productivity indices, includingsite index. We assessed changes in forest productivity with timeusing two complementary approaches: (1) by comparing productivityamong the chronosequence stands and (2) by comparing the productivityof successive cohorts of trees within the same stands to determinethe influence of time independently of other site factors. Charcoalstratigraphy indicates that the forest stands differ in their firehistory and originated either from high- or low-severity soil burns.Both chronosequence and cohort approaches demonstrate declines inblack spruce productivity of 50-80% with increased paludification,particularly during the first centuries after fire. Paludificationalters bryophyte abundance and succession, increases soil moisture,reduces soil temperature and nutrient availability, and alters thevertical distribution of roots. Low-severity soil burns significantlyaccelerate rates of paludification and productivity decline comparedwith high-severity fires and ultimately reduce nutrient contentin black spruce needles. The two combined approaches indicate thatpaludification can be driven by forest succession only, independentlyof site factors such as position on slope. This successional paludificationcontrasts with edaphic paludification, where topography and drainageprimarily control the extent and rate of paludification. At thelandscape scale, the fire regime (frequency and severity) controlspaludification and forest productivity through its effect on soilorganic layers. Implications for global carbon budgets and sustainableforestry are discussed.

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@ARTICLE { SimardLecomteBergeronEtAl2007,
    AUTHOR = { Simard, M. and Lecomte, N. and Bergeron, Y. and Bernier, P.Y. andPare, D. },
    TITLE = { Forest productivity decline caused by successional paludificationof boreal soils },
    JOURNAL = { Ecological Applications },
    YEAR = { 2007 },
    VOLUME = { 17 },
    PAGES = { 1619-1637 },
    NUMBER = { 6 },
    NOTE = { ISI Document Delivery No.: 207GS },
    ABSTRACT = { Long-term forest productivity decline in boreal forests has been extensivelystudied in the last decades, yet its causes are still unclear. Soilconditions associated with soil organic matter accumulation arethought to be responsible for site productivity decline. The objectivesof this study were to determine if paludification of boreal soilsresulted in reduced forest productivity, and to identify changesin the physical and chemical properties of soils associated withreduction in productivity. We used a chronosequence of 23 blackspruce stands ranging in postfire age from 50 to 2350 years andcalculated three different stand productivity indices, includingsite index. We assessed changes in forest productivity with timeusing two complementary approaches: (1) by comparing productivityamong the chronosequence stands and (2) by comparing the productivityof successive cohorts of trees within the same stands to determinethe influence of time independently of other site factors. Charcoalstratigraphy indicates that the forest stands differ in their firehistory and originated either from high- or low-severity soil burns.Both chronosequence and cohort approaches demonstrate declines inblack spruce productivity of 50-80% with increased paludification,particularly during the first centuries after fire. Paludificationalters bryophyte abundance and succession, increases soil moisture,reduces soil temperature and nutrient availability, and alters thevertical distribution of roots. Low-severity soil burns significantlyaccelerate rates of paludification and productivity decline comparedwith high-severity fires and ultimately reduce nutrient contentin black spruce needles. The two combined approaches indicate thatpaludification can be driven by forest succession only, independentlyof site factors such as position on slope. This successional paludificationcontrasts with edaphic paludification, where topography and drainageprimarily control the extent and rate of paludification. At thelandscape scale, the fire regime (frequency and severity) controlspaludification and forest productivity through its effect on soilorganic layers. Implications for global carbon budgets and sustainableforestry are discussed. },
    KEYWORDS = { black spruce, boreal forest, chronosequence, fire severity, long-termforest productivity, paleoecology, paludification, Picea mariana,Pleurozium schreberi, Quebec, Canada, site index, soil organic matter,Sphagnum spp. STAND STRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT; INITIAL TREE COMPOSITION;AGE-RELATED DECLINE; BLACK SPRUCE; INTERIOR ALASKA; NORTHWESTERNQUEBEC; FIRE SEVERITY; ECOSYSTEM PROPERTIES; EASTERN CANADA; ORGANIC-CARBON },
    OWNER = { brugerolles },
    TIMESTAMP = { 2007.12.04 },
}

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