Effects of management and disturbance regimes on early life history processes of balsam fir (Abies balsamea (L.) Mill.)

Noel, Laura Janice (2004) Effects of management and disturbance regimes on early life history processes of balsam fir (Abies balsamea (L.) Mill.). Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

Balsam fir relies on disturbance events to create canopy gaps into which advance regeneration can grow. To determine the factors responsible for the failure of balsam fir forest regeneration in Eastern Newfoundland, various components of the early reproductive processes were compared among various combinations of management and disturbance regimes (Protected-intact canopy; Protected-open canopy; Cut block-domestic; and Cut block-commercial). Pollen availability and viability, seed production and quality, seedling emergence and survivorship were examined within each management/disturbance regime. The results indicate that reproduction of balsam fir in this ecoregion is not limited by the availability or quality of pollen, but in part by reduced numbers of female cone producing trees within insect disturbed and selectively cut stands. Protected intact canopy and domestic cutting blocks contained the highest proportions of optimal seedbed, the lowest levels of herbivory, and therefore the highest densities of juveniles. Disturbance regime is directly linked with the early reproductive processes of balsam fir. Therefore, to implement sustainable forest management, natural disturbance patterns must be more closely mimicked to ensure survival of early life history stages.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/11145
Item ID: 11145
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references.
Department(s): Science, Faculty of > Biology
Date: 2004
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Balsam fir--Newfoundland and Labrador; Forest regeneration--Newfoundland and Labrador.

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