Canadian Forest Service Publications

Aspen management options using fire or cutting. 1991. Weber, M.G. Forestry Canada, Petawawa National Forestry Institute, Chalk River, Ontario. Information Report PI-X-100. 11 p.

Year: 1991

Issued by: National Capital Region

Catalog ID: 12146

Language: English

Series: Information Report (Petawawa)

CFS Availability: PDF (download)

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Abstract

Vegetative reproduction, leaf and stem biomass and nutrient pools, soil nutrient pools, soil respiration, litterfall, and winter forage (twig) production were monitored in eastern Ontario immature (20 yrs) aspen (Populus tremuloides Michz., Populus grandidentata Michx.) ecosystems which had been treated as follows: low intensity burning before, burning after, cutting before, and cutting after spring leaf flush. An untreated control was set aside for comparaison.

Three years after treatment the greatest numbers of stems per ha were produced through suckering on the pre-flush cutting plots (12 000) floowed in decreasing order by post-flush cut (9000), post -flush burn (4000), and pre-flush burn (2000). No suckering was observed on control plots. Aboveground biomass and nutrient pools, winter browse production, and litterfall patterns consistently reflected sucker stem density trends on the cuts and stand break-up on the burning treatments. The burning treatments reduced aspen to a minor componentof the site, paraticularly on the pre-flush burn. The pre-flush cutting treatment, on the other hand, is representative of the most desirable outcome if vigorous aspen reproduction is the management objective.

Substrate nutrient and soil respiration measurements indicated that rates of key ecosystem processes returned rapidly to pre-disturbance levels. This supports our understanding of aspen as a resilient forest ecosystem in the presence of periodic human or natural intervention.

Also available under the title:
Options de l'aménagement des peupliers au moyen du feu ou de la coupe (French)