The effects of herbaceous and woody competition on planted white pine in a clearcut site

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Abstract

We investigated the effects of herbaceous and woody vegetation control on the survival and growth of planted eastern white pine (Pinus strobus L.) seedlings through six growing seasons. Herbaceous vegetation control involved the suppression of grasses, forbs, ferns, and low-shrubs, and was maintained for 0, 2, or 4 years after white pine seedlings were planted. Woody control involved the removal of all tall-shrub and deciduous trees, and was conducted at the time of planting, at the end of the second or fifth growing seasons, or not at all. Seedling height and basal diameter responded positively and proportionally to duration of herbaceous vegetation control. Gains associated with woody control were generally not significant unless some degree of herbaceous vegetation control was also conducted. Only herbaceous control increased pine crown closure and rate of crown closure. Herbaceous control and the presence of 5000-15,000 stems per ha of young overtopping aspen were associated with reduced weevil (Pissodes strobi Peck.) injury and increased pine height growth. The study suggests that white pine restoration strategies on clearcut sites should focus on the proactive, early management of understory vegetation and the gradual reduction of overtopping cover from woody vegetation to create a seedling light environment that supports acceptable growth with minimal weevil damage. Crown Copyright © 2008.

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Pitt, D. G., Morneault, A., Parker, W. C., Stinson, A., & Lanteigne, L. (2009). The effects of herbaceous and woody competition on planted white pine in a clearcut site. Forest Ecology and Management, 257(4), 1281–1291. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2008.11.039

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