New Forests

, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 23–38 | Cite as

Effects of soil moisture and species composition on growth and productivity of trembling aspen and white spruce in planted mixtures: 5-year results

Article

Abstract

Aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) and white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench.) Voss) were planted 0.5 m apart in intimate mixtures in 5 × 4 m plots, with two moisture regimes—irrigation versus control—and five species compositions—pure aspen (Aw100), mixed aspen and spruce (Aw83Sw17, Aw50Sw50, Aw17Sw83), and pure spruce (Sw100), replicated six times. Fifth-year assessments indicated that irrigation increased individual tree growth (height, RCD, crown width), plot leaf area index (LAI), and wood biomass. Increased aspen composition reduced the availability of soil moisture and consequently the growth of individual trees. With increased aspen composition more growth was allocated to stem in aspen and to foliage in white spruce. Comparatively, aspen responded more to irrigation and thus their growth is more dependent on precipitation than that of spruce. Among the three growth variables assessed, height responded more to irrigation in both species. Equal mixtures and aspen-dominated mixtures in control plots had higher productivity in terms of total wood biomass in both absolute and relative terms. The implications of these findings are discussed in relation to managing aspen and white spruce mixedwood forests under increasing drought expected as a result of climate change.

Keywords

Root collar diameter Height Crown width Leaf area index Biomass Irrigation Drought 

References

  1. Alban DH (1991) The impact of aspen harvesting on site productivity. In: Navratil S, Chapman PB (eds) Proceedings of the symposium on aspen management for the 21st century, Nov. 20–21, 1990, Edmonton, Alberta. For. Can., Northw. Reg., North. For. Cent. and Poplar Council of Canada. Edmonton, Alberta, pp 71–76Google Scholar
  2. Barrow E, Maxwell B, Gachon P (eds) (2004) Climate variability and change in Canada: past, present and future. ACSD Science Assessment Series No. 2, Meteorol. Serv. Can., Environ. Can., Toronto, OntarioGoogle Scholar
  3. Bréda N, Huc R, Granier A, Dreyer E (2006) Temperate forest trees and stands under severe drought: a review of ecophysiological responses, adaptation processes and long-term consequences. Ann For Sci 63:625–644CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Broadmeadow MSJ, Jackson SB (2000) Growth responses of Quercus petraea, Fraxinus excelsior and Pinus sylvestris to elevated carbon dioxide, ozone and water supply. New Phytol 146:437–451CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Candau JN, Abt V, Keatley L (2002) Bioclimatic analysis of declining Aspen stands in northeastern Ontario. Ont. Min. Nat. Resour., Ont. For. Res. Inst., Sault Ste. Marie, On. For. Res. Rep. 154Google Scholar
  6. Chan SS, Radosevich SR, Grotta AT (2003) Effects of contrasting light and soil moisture availability on the growth and biomass allocation of Douglas-fir and red alder. Can J For Res 33:106–117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chen HYH, Popadiouk RV (2002) Dynamics of North American boreal mixedwoods. Environ Rev 10:137–166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chen HYH, Klinka K, Mathey AH, Wang X, Varga P, Chourmouzis C (2003) Are mixed-species stands more productive than single-species stands: an empirical test of three forest types in British Columbia and Alberta. Can J For Res 33:1227–1237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Comeau PG, Kabzems R, McClarnon J, Heineman JL (2005) Implications of selected approaches for regenerating and managing western boreal mixedwoods. For Chron 81:559–574Google Scholar
  10. Ericsson T, Rytter L, Vapaavuoi E (1996) Physiology of carbon allocation in trees. Biomass Bioenergy 11:115–127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fitter AH, Hay RKM (1987) Environmental physiology of plants, 2nd edn. Academic Press Inc, San DiegoGoogle Scholar
  12. Groot A, Carlson DW (1996) Influence of shelter on night temperatures, frost damage, and bud break of white spruce seedlings. Can J For Res 26:1531–1538CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hangs RD, Knight JD, Van Rees KCJ (2003) Nitrogen uptake characteristics for roots of conifer seedlings and common boreal forest competitor species. Can J For Res 33:156–163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hogg EH, Hurdle PA (1995) The aspen parkland in western Canada: a dry-climate analogue for the future boreal forest? Water Air Soil Pollut 82:391–400CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hogg EH, Wein RW (2005) Impacts of drought on forest growth and regeneration following fire in southwestern Yukon, Canada. Can J For Res 35:2141–2150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hogg EH, Brandt JP, Kochtubajda B (2002) Growth and dieback of aspen forests in northwestern Alberta, Canada, in relation to climate and insects. Can J For Res 32:823–832CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hogg EH, Brandt JP, Kochtubajda B (2005) Factors affecting interannual variation in growth of western Canadian aspen forests during 1951–2000. Can J For Res 35:610–622CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hogg EH, Brandt JP, Michaelian M (2008) Impacts of a regional drought on the productivity, dieback, and biomass of western Canadian aspen forests. Can J For Res 38:1373–1384CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hu Y, Schmidhalter U (2005) Drought and salinity: a comparison of their effects on mineral nutrition of plants. J Plant Nutr Soil Sci 168:541–549CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Jactel H, Brockerhoff E, Duelli P (2005) A test of the biodiversity-stability theory: meta-analysis of tree species diversity effects on insect pest infestations, and re-examination of responsible factors. Ecol Stud 176:235–262CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Jarvis PG, Jarvis MS (1963) The water relations of tree seedlings. IV. Some aspects of the tissue water relations and drought resistance. Physiol Plant 16:501–516CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kabzems A, Senyk JP (1967) A comparison of actual and potential forest land production in Saskatchewan. For Chron 43:257–264Google Scholar
  23. Kellogg WW, Zao ZC (1988) Sensitivity of soil moisture to doubling of carbon dioxide in climate model experiments. Part I: North America. J Clim 1:348–366CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kelty MJ (1992) Comparative productivity of monocultures and mixed species stands. In: Kelty MJ, Larson BC, Oliver CD (eds) The ecology and silviculture of mixed-species forests. Kluwer, Dordrecht, pp 125–141Google Scholar
  25. Kelty MJ, Cameron IR (1995) Plot designs for the analysis of species interactions in mixed stands. Commonw For Rev 74:322–332Google Scholar
  26. Kramer S, Green DM (2000) Acid and alkaline phosphatase dynamics and their relationship to soil microclimate in a semiarid woodland. Soil Biol Biochem 32:179–188CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Larcher W (1983) Physiological plant ecology. Springer, HeidelbergGoogle Scholar
  28. Le Dantec V, Dufrêne E, Saugier B (2000) Interannual and spatial variation in maximum leaf area index of temperate deciduous stands. For Ecol Manage 134:71–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lecomte N, Macdonald E, Brais S, Comeau P (2009) Growing conditions and tree productivity in boreal mixedwoods: hidden opportunities for forest managers. Edmonton. AB. Sust. For. Manage. Netw. Res. Note Ser. No. 46Google Scholar
  30. Lieffers VJ, Macmillan RB, MacPherson D, Branter K, Stewart JD (1996) Semi-natural and intensive silvicultural systems for the boreal mixedwood forest. For Chron 72:286–292Google Scholar
  31. Littell RC, Milliken GA, Stroup WW, Wolfinger RD (1996) SAS system for mixed models. SAS Publishing, CaryGoogle Scholar
  32. MacDonald GB (1995) The case for boreal mixedwood management: an Ontario perspective. For Chron 71:725–734Google Scholar
  33. MacPherson DM, Lieffers VJ, Blenis PV (2001) Productivity of aspen stands with and without a spruce understory in Alberta’s boreal mixedwood forests. For Chron 77:351–356Google Scholar
  34. Man R, Lieffers VJ (1997) Photosynthesis of Picea glauca and Pinus banksiana saplings in relation to season and temperature. Can J Bot 75:1766–1771CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Man R, Lieffers VJ (1999a) Are mixtures of aspen and white spruce more productive than single species stands? For Chron 75:505–513Google Scholar
  36. Man R, Lieffers VJ (1999b) Effects of shelterwood and site preparation on microclimate and establishment of white spruce seedlings in a boreal mixedwood forest. For Chron 75:837–844Google Scholar
  37. Man R, Rice JA, MacDonald GB (2010) Five-year light, vegetation, and regeneration dynamics of boreal mixedwoods following silvicultural treatments to establish productive aspen-spruce mixtures in northeastern Ontario. Can J For Res 40:1529–1541CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Merchant A, Callister A, Arndt S, Tausz M, Adams M (2007) Contrasting physiological responses of six Eucalyptus species to water deficit. Ann Bot 100:1507–1515PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Messier C, Doucet R, Ruel JC, Claveau Y, Kelly C, Lechowicz MJ (1999) Functional ecology of advance regeneration in relation to light in boreal forests. Can J For Res 29:812–823CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Peterson EB, Peterson NM (1992) Ecology, management, and use of aspen and balsam poplar in the prairie provinces. For. Can. Northw. Reg., North. For. Cent. Edmonton, AB. Spec. Rep. No. 1Google Scholar
  41. Prior SA, Runion GB, Mitchell RJ, Rogers HH, Amthor JS (1997) Effects of atmospheric CO2 on longleaf pine: productivity and allocation as influenced by nitrogen and water. Tree Physiol 17:397–405PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Rice JA, MacDonald GB, Weingartner DH (2001) Precommercial thinning of trembling aspen in northern Ontario: part 1—growth responses. For Chron 77:893–901Google Scholar
  43. Rowe JS (1972) Forest regions of Canada. Dep. Environ. Can. For. Serv., Ottawa, Ont. Publ. 1300Google Scholar
  44. Ryan MG, Yoder BJ (1997) Hydraulic limits to tree height and tree growth. Bioscience 47:235–242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Sardans J, Peñuelas J, Prieto P, Estiarte M (2008) Drought and warming induced changes in P and K concentration and accumulation in plant biomass and soil in a Mediterranean shrubland. Plant Soil 306:261–271CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Scholes RJ, Biggs R (2005) A biodiversity intactness index. Nature 434:45–49PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Smith DM, Larson BC, Kelty MJ, Ashton PMS (1997) The practices of silviculture: applied forest ecology. Wily, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  48. Soil Classification Working Group (1998) The Canadian system of soil classification. Third Edition. Res. Br., Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Publ. 1646. NRC Research Press, OttawaGoogle Scholar
  49. Su Q, MacLean DA, Needham TD (1996) The influence of hardwood content on balsam fir defoliation by spruce budworm. Can J For Res 26:1620–1628CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Taylor SP, DeLong C, Alfaro RL, Rankin L (1996) The effects of overstory shading on white pine weevil damage to white spruce and its effects on spruce growth rates. Can J For Res 26:306–312CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Vandermeer JH (1989) The ecology of intercropping. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Wang JR, Comeau P, Kimmins JP (1995) Simulation of mixedwood management of aspen and white spruce in northeastern British Columbia. Water Air Soil Pollut 82:171–178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Wang Y, Bauerle WL, Reynolds RF (2008) Predicting the growth of deciduous tree species in response to water stress: FVS-BGC model parameterization, application, and evaluation. Ecol Model 217:139–147CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ontario Ministry of Natural ResourcesOntario Forest Research InstituteSault Ste. MarieCanada
  2. 2.Alberta Sustainable Resource DevelopmentEdmontonCanada

Personalised recommendations