Skip to Main Content
Influence of precommercial thinning and herbicides on understory vegetation of young-growth Sitka spruce forest in southeastern AlaskaAuthor(s): Elizabeth C. Cole; Thomas A. Hanley; Michael Newton
Source: Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 40(4): 619-628
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
PDF: Download Publication (3.86 MB)
DescriptionThe effects of precommercial thinning on the understory vegetative cover of 16- to 18-year-old spruce-hemlock (Picea sitchensis (Bong.) Carriere--Tsuga heterophylla (Raf.) Sarg.) stands were studied in seven replicate areas over seven growing seasons postthinning. Vegetative cover was analyzed at the class level, but species-specific effects were examined in relation to their value as food for Sitka black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus sitkensis Cowan). When compared with unthinned controls, thinned stands (3.6-6.3 m spacing) had significantly greater understory cover. However, all thinned spacings led to similar understory cover. Conifer cover recovered to about two-thirds of its prethinning level within seven growing seasons posttreatment. Understory nonconiferous cover increased during the first 2-4 years postthinning but began to decline with increasing conifer cover during the next 3 years, nearly reaching pretreatment levels by year 7. In unthinned understories, vegetative cover had declined and was significantly lower than that beneath thinned stands. Summer food resource values for deer were increased by thinning. Winter food resource values were increased by thinning for snow-free conditions but were unaffected for conditions when herb-layer forbs were buried by snow.
- Visit PNW's Publication Request Page to request a hard copy of this publication.
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationCole, Elizabeth C.; Hanley, Thomas A.; Newton, Michael. 2010. Influence of precommercial thinning and herbicides on understory vegetation of young-growth Sitka spruce forest in southeastern Alaska. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 40(4): 619-628.
Keywordssilviculture, even-aged, Sitka spruce, western hemlock, black-tailed deer
- Occurrence of insect and disease pests on young-growth Sitka spruce and western hemlock in southeastern Alaska.
- The density and distribution of Sitka spruce and western hemlock seedling banks in partially harvested stands in southeast Alaska
- Growth and yield of sitka spruce and western hemlock at Cascade Head Experimental Forest, Oregon.
XML: View XML