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Environmental factors affecting natural regeneration of Engelmann spruce in the central Rocky Mountains
Natural regeneration success of Engelmann spruce in clearcut openings, with adequate seed, is controlled by weather and aspect and modified by seedbed conditions. Small clearcut openings of 1-2 hectares can be successfully regenerated on north exposures with mineral soil seedbeds and shade. However, successful natural regeneration in openings on south aspects is not possible, and shade is absolutely essential for any survival. Drought was the most serious cause of mortality, but significant losses also resulted from heat girdle, frost heaving, and clipping by birds.
Noble, Daniel L.; Alexander, Robert R. 1977. Environmental factors affecting natural regeneration of Engelmann spruce in the central Rocky Mountains. Forest Science. 23(4): 420-429.