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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

Trade-offs across densities and mixture proportions in lodgepole pine-hybrid spruce plantations

Barbeito, Ignacio; Eskelson, Bianca N. I.; Carsky, Grace


Monocultures tend to yield higher total stand volumes and are simple to manage. Yet, mixed species stands may result in similar stand volumes while providing benefits such as mitigating damage from insects and disease. To understand the effects of stand density and species mixture and their interactions on stand yield, tree size and morphology, and damage in monocultures and mixtures, we analyzed a 25-year-old experiment in interior British Columbia, Canada. The lodgepole pine (Pl)-interior hybrid spruce (Sx) experiment included three densities?1000, 1500, and 2000 stems per hectare (SPH)?and five species mixtures?1:0, 3:1, 1:1, 1:3, and 0:1 Pl:Sx. Results 25 years after stand establishment showed that stand volume was significantly larger with an increasing proportion of Pl across all stand densities. Pl had 10% larger diameters in the 1000 SPH than in the 2000 SPH and when mixed with Sx (1:1). Pl had larger crowns in mixtures regardless of density. Mixture proportion did not affect gall rust incidence or stem form in Pl, but reduced attack in Sx by spruce weevil. Our findings suggest that mixing Pl-Sx and high planting density decrease weevil attacks in Sx, which reduce loss in timber quality. Yet, Pl quality may decrease when mixed with Sx, due to larger Pl crowns. These results may be used to improve the implementation of management strategies that decrease trade-offs between yields, desired market tree sizes, and timber loss from pest and pathogens, while making the stands more resilient to further climate change impact.


Pinus contorta; Picea glauca ? engelmanii; Western gall rust; Spruce leader weevil; Stem defects; Interior British Columbia

Published in

Forest Ecology and Management
2021, Volume: 490, article number: 119095
Publisher: ELSEVIER

    SLU Authors

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    SLU Plant Protection Network

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG13 Climate action

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Forest Science

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