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Nurse cropAuthor(s): Wayne D. Shepperd; John R. Jones
Source: In: DeByle, Norbert V.; Winokur, Robert P., editors. Aspen: Ecology and management in the western United States. USDA Forest Service General Technical Report RM-119. Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Fort Collins, Colo. p. 181-184
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station
PDF: Download Publication (440 B)
DescriptionIn forestry, a nurse crop generally is a crop of trees or shrubs that fosters the development of another tree species, usually by protecting the second species, during its youth, from frost, insolation, or wind (Ford-Robertson 1971). Aspen may be a nurse crop for shade-tolerant tree species that do not become established in full sunlight (e.g., Engelmann spruce). Through the natural successional process, aspen often serves in this capacity. In the West, aspen also can be considered a nurse crop to the forage-rich mix of shade-tolerant understory species (see the VEGETATION ASSOCIATIONS and FORAGE chapters). Without the aspen overstory, many of these species, particularly the forbs, probably would die.
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CitationShepperd, Wayne D.; Jones, John R. 1985. Nurse crop. In: DeByle, Norbert V.; Winokur, Robert P., editors. Aspen: Ecology and management in the western United States. USDA Forest Service General Technical Report RM-119. Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Fort Collins, Colo. p. 181-184
KeywordsPopulus tremuloides, quaking aspen, ecology, forest management, nurse crop, aspen overstory
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