Skip to main content
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

Success Factors for Experimental Partial Harvesting in Unmanaged Boreal Forest: 10-Year Stand Yield Results

Moussaoui, Louiza; Leduc, Alain; Girona, Miguel Montoro; Belisle, Annie Claude; Lafleur, Benoit; Fenton, Nicole J.; Bergeron, Yves

Abstract

Over the past two decades, partial harvesting has been increasingly used in boreal forests as an alternative to clearcutting to promote irregular stand structures and maintain a balance between biodiversity preservation and continued timber production. However, relatively little is still known about the silvicultural potential of partial harvesting in Canada's boreal forest, especially in areas prone to organic matter accumulation (paludification), and most prior research has focused on biodiversity responses. In this study, we assess the effects of partial harvesting on stand development (recruitment, growth, and mortality) ten years after harvesting in previously unmanaged black spruce stands and quantify its effectiveness in reducing the impacts on ecosystem structures. Our analyses revealed that pre-harvest stand structure and site characteristics, especially initial basal area, sapling density, tree diameter, and organic layer thickness (OLT) were major factors involved in stand development ten years following these partial harvesting treatments. Depending on pre-harvest structure and site characteristics, partial harvesting can result in either an increase in post-harvest tree recruitment and growth or a loss of stand volume because of standing tree mortality. To increase the chances of partial harvesting success in ensuring an increase in decennial stand yield after harvest in black spruce forest stands, sites prone to paludification (i.e., where OLT >17 cm) should be left unharvested. This study illustrates the importance of taking into account pre-existing structure and site characteristics in the selection of management strategies to maximize the potential of partial harvesting to achieve sustainable forest management in black spruce stands.

Keywords

black spruce (Picea mariana); merchantable tree recruitment; partial harvesting; radial growth; sustainable forest silviculture; tree mortality

Published in

Forests
2020, volume: 11, number: 11, article number: 1199
Publisher: MDPI

Authors' information

Moussaoui, Louiza
Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT)
Leduc, Alain
University of Quebec Montreal (UQAM)
Montoro Girona, Miguel
Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT)
Montoro Girona, Miguel
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies
Bélisle, Annie Claude
Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT)
Lafleur, Benoit
Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT)
Fenton, Nicole J.
Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT)
Bergeron, Yves
Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT)

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG12 Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

UKÄ Subject classification

Forest Science

Publication Identifiers

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/f11111199

URI (permanent link to this page)

https://res.slu.se/id/publ/109800