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    When harvested, red spruce (Picea rubens) at low elevations is vulnerable to temporary displacement by balsam fir (Abies balsamea) and hardwoods. If indicator plants can be found by which to assess spruce regeneration habitat, then biota dependent on red spruce dominance could benefit. Associations between spruce seedlings (0.1-0.5 m tall) and understory plants, species life histories, and successional processes can be considered in managing for biodiversity; species richness alone is inadequate.Data from eight Maine sites in 50 permanent 0.0625 ha plots and 600 1 m2 subplots along a disturbance gradient included 30 understory species and nine environmental variables.

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    Dibble, Alison C.; Brissette, John C.; Hunter, Malcolm L., Jr. 1999. Putting community data to work: some understory plants indicate red spruce regeneration habitat. Forest Ecology and Management. 114(2-3): 275-291.


    biodiversity, indicator plants, red spruce, regeneration, understory, forest succession

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