Sugar maple (Acer saccharum March.) growth is influenced by close conspecifics and skid trait proximity following selection harvest

Hartmann, Henrik; Beaudet, Marilou; Mazerolle, Marc J. et Messier, Christian (2009). « Sugar maple (Acer saccharum March.) growth is influenced by close conspecifics and skid trait proximity following selection harvest ». Forest Ecology and Management, 258, pp. 823-831.

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In this study, we quantified the effects of local neighbourhood competition, light availability, and proximity to skid trails on the growth of sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.) trees following selection harvest. We hypothesized that growth would increase with decreasing competition and increasing light availability, but that proximity to skid trails would negatively affect growth. A total of 300 sugar maples were sampled 10 years after selection harvesting in 18 stands in Témiscamingue (Québec, Canada). Detailed tree and skid trail maps were obtained in one 0.4 ha plot per stand. Square-root transformed radial growth data were fitted to a linear mixed model that included tree diameter, crown position, a neighbourhood competition index, light availability (estimated using the SORTIE light model), and distance to the nearest skid trail as explanatory variables. We considered various distance-dependent or -independent indices based on neighbourhood radii ranging from 6 to 12 m. The competition index that provided the best fit to the data was a distance-dependent index computed in a 6 m search radius, but a distance-independent version of the competition index provided an almost equivalent fit to data. Models corresponding to all combinations of main effects were fit to data using maximum likelihood, and weighted averages of parameter estimates were obtained usingmultimodel inference. All predictors had an influence on growth, with the exception of light. Radial growth decreased with increasing tree diameter, level of competition and proximity to skid trails, and varied among crown positions with trees in suppressed and intermediate positions having lower growth rates than codominants and dominants. Our results indicate that in selection managed stands, the radial growth of sugarmaple trees depends on competition from close (6 m) conspecific neighbours, and is still affected by proximity to skid trails 10 years after harvesting. Such results underscore the importance of minimizing the extent of skid trail networks by careful pre-harvest planning of trail layout. We also conclude that the impact of heterogeneity among individual-tree neighbourhoods, such as those resulting from alternative spatial patterns of harvest, can usefully be integrated into models of post-harvest tree growth.

Type: Article de revue scientifique
Mots-clés ou Sujets: Individual-tree growth model, Model averaging, Selection harvest, Skid trail, Competition indices, Light availability
Unité d'appartenance: Centres institutionnels > Centre d'étude de la forêt (CEF)
Faculté des sciences > Département des sciences biologiques
Déposé par: Christian Messier
Date de dépôt: 20 nov. 2009 17:37
Dernière modification: 01 nov. 2014 02:11
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