FentonBergeron2007

Reference

Fenton, N.J., Bergeron, Y. (2007) Sphagnum community change after partial harvest in black spruce borealforests. Forest Ecology and Management, 242(1):24-33.

Abstract

In eastern Canada, boreal forests develop structural diversity inassociation with time since stand replacing fire. In some regions,this is associated with significant changes in the bryophyte community(Sphagnum moss invasion) and paludification (thick waterlogged forestfloor development). The bryophyte community responds to openingof the canopy, and increasing moisture by replacement of slow growingspecies by faster growing Sphagnum spp. (e.g. magellanicum, fallax)that are dependent on constant hydration. Within a forest managementcontext, partial harvest systems have been proposed as a strategyto maintain structural diversity, which is currently not accomplishedwith low retention systems. However, it is unknown whether theseinterventions will effectively accelerate community succession.The questions addressed in this study were: (1) is the compositionof Sphagnum colonies in partially cut stands more similar to old-growthcommunities than in control, and low retention cut stands, (2) whataspects of harvest disturbance drive these changes, and (3) is thegrowth rate of Sphagnum capillifolium (an early successional shadetolerant species) different in partial versus low retention harvestsystems? After harvest, Sphagnum patch size was reduced by 19.8 after low retention and partial harvest, respectively.While trends were not constant across three separate partial cuttrials, the proportion of Sphagnum magellanicum, Sphagnum fallaxand Sphagnum fuscum increased compared to controls and low retention1-2 years after harvest. Models of percent Sphagnum cover indicatedmachinery track cover, percent cover of vascular plants, and patchdepth were positive factors, while the influence of open canopyvaried among species. Despite the inclusion of individual disturbancevariables, the summary variable 'treatment' was significant in allmodels. Growth of S. capillifolium in partial cuts was intermediateto growth rates in control and low-retention cuts. Growth was positivelyinfluenced by slash cover and, contrary to the patch level, negativelyinfluenced by track cover. These results indicate that partial harvestdoes represent an intermediate level of disturbance, as direct andindirect harvest effects were reduced, as was Sphagnum death. Changein composition 1 and 2 years after harvest indicates that partialharvests may effectively shift the bryophyte community towards anolder community type and may thus be used to create landscape diversity.Long term trends and entire community compositions need to be assessedbefore this can be stated definitively. However, as paludified standsare less productive, the capacity of these partially harvested sitesto produce merchantable timber is questioned. © 2007 Elsevier B.V.All rights reserved.

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@ARTICLE { FentonBergeron2007,
    AUTHOR = { Fenton, N.J. and Bergeron, Y. },
    TITLE = { Sphagnum community change after partial harvest in black spruce borealforests },
    JOURNAL = { Forest Ecology and Management },
    YEAR = { 2007 },
    VOLUME = { 242 },
    PAGES = { 24-33 },
    NUMBER = { 1 },
    ABSTRACT = { In eastern Canada, boreal forests develop structural diversity inassociation with time since stand replacing fire. In some regions,this is associated with significant changes in the bryophyte community(Sphagnum moss invasion) and paludification (thick waterlogged forestfloor development). The bryophyte community responds to openingof the canopy, and increasing moisture by replacement of slow growingspecies by faster growing Sphagnum spp. (e.g. magellanicum, fallax)that are dependent on constant hydration. Within a forest managementcontext, partial harvest systems have been proposed as a strategyto maintain structural diversity, which is currently not accomplishedwith low retention systems. However, it is unknown whether theseinterventions will effectively accelerate community succession.The questions addressed in this study were: (1) is the compositionof Sphagnum colonies in partially cut stands more similar to old-growthcommunities than in control, and low retention cut stands, (2) whataspects of harvest disturbance drive these changes, and (3) is thegrowth rate of Sphagnum capillifolium (an early successional shadetolerant species) different in partial versus low retention harvestsystems? After harvest, Sphagnum patch size was reduced by 19.8 after low retention and partial harvest, respectively.While trends were not constant across three separate partial cuttrials, the proportion of Sphagnum magellanicum, Sphagnum fallaxand Sphagnum fuscum increased compared to controls and low retention1-2 years after harvest. Models of percent Sphagnum cover indicatedmachinery track cover, percent cover of vascular plants, and patchdepth were positive factors, while the influence of open canopyvaried among species. Despite the inclusion of individual disturbancevariables, the summary variable 'treatment' was significant in allmodels. Growth of S. capillifolium in partial cuts was intermediateto growth rates in control and low-retention cuts. Growth was positivelyinfluenced by slash cover and, contrary to the patch level, negativelyinfluenced by track cover. These results indicate that partial harvestdoes represent an intermediate level of disturbance, as direct andindirect harvest effects were reduced, as was Sphagnum death. Changein composition 1 and 2 years after harvest indicates that partialharvests may effectively shift the bryophyte community towards anolder community type and may thus be used to create landscape diversity.Long term trends and entire community compositions need to be assessedbefore this can be stated definitively. However, as paludified standsare less productive, the capacity of these partially harvested sitesto produce merchantable timber is questioned. © 2007 Elsevier B.V.All rights reserved. },
    KEYWORDS = { Boreal forest Bryophytes Disturbance Sphagnum growth Variable retention },
    OWNER = { brugerolles },
    TIMESTAMP = { 2007.12.04 },
}

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