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Effects of organic matter removal, soil compaction, and vegetation control on 5-year seedling performance: a regional comparison of long-term soil productivity sites

Posted date: January 27, 2009
Publication Year: 
2006
Authors: Fleming, Robert L.; Powers, Robert F.; Foster, Neil W.; Kranabetter, J. Marty; Scott, D. Andrew; Ponder, Felix Jr.; Berch, Shannon; Chapman, William K.; Kabzems, Richard D.; Ludovici, Kim H.; Morris, David M.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Sanborn, Paul T.; Sanchez, Felipe G.; Stone, Douglas M.; Tiarks, Allan E.
Publication Series: 
Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Source: Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 36: 529-550.

Abstract

We examined fifth-year seedling response to soil disturbance and vegetation control at 42 experimental locations representing 25 replicated studies within the North American Long-Term Soil Productivity (LTSP) program. These studies share a common experimental design while encompassing a wide range of climate, site conditions, and forest types. Whole-tree harvest had limited effects on planted seedling performance compared with the effects of stem-only harvest (the control); slight increases in survival were usually offset by decreases in growth. Forest-floor removal improved seedling survival and increased growth in Mediterranean climates, but reduced growth on productive, nutrient-limited, warm-humid sites. Soil compaction with intact forest floors usually benefited conifer survival and growth, regardless of climate or species. Compaction combined with forest-floor removal generally increased survival, had limited effects on individual tree growth, and increased stand growth in Mediterranean climates. Vegetation control benefited seedling growth in all treatments, particularly on more productive sites, but did not affect survival or alter the relative impact of organic matter removal and compaction on growth. Organic matter removal increased aspen coppice densities and, as with compaction, reduced aspen growth.

Citation

Fleming, Robert L.; Powers, Robert F.; Foster, Neil W.; Kranabetter, J. Marty; Scott, D. Andrew; Ponder, Felix Jr.; Berch, Shannon; Chapman, William K.; Kabzems, Richard D.; Ludovici, Kim H.; Morris, David M.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Sanborn, Paul T.; Sanchez, Felipe G.; Stone, Douglas M.; Tiarks, Allan E. 2006. Effects of organic matter removal, soil compaction, and vegetation control on 5-year seedling performance: a regional comparison of long-term soil productivity sites. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 36: 529-550.