Forest productivity after careful logging and fire in black spruce stands of the Canadian Clay Belt.
Cécile Leroy, Alain Leduc, Nelson Thiffault, Yves Bergeron.
Some regenerating stands of the boreal forest exhibit low juvenile growth after major disturbances, which compromise sustainable forest management objectives. In black spruce-feather moss stands of eastern Canada subject to paludification, careful logging methods could decrease stand productivity with time, by preventing a beneficial reduction in organic soil thickness. This project aimed at confirming decreases in juvenile growth between stands originating from careful logging and the former stands originating from old fires on the same sites. Stem analyses showed that stands originating from CPRS had significant better juvenile height growth than the former stands,but significant lower growth than post-recent fire stands, in the study region. If organic matter thickness apparently played a role in the growth differences observed between fire and harvesting, it was not the only factor determining stand productivity. The cohort status, the climatic regime and the quality of the residual organic matter are other factors that seem to drive productivity according to our results. Our results show that post-harvest management approaches (e.g., site preparation) should be used to increase yields after harvest for the sites to express their full growth potential.