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The influence of forest structure on light and regeneration in complex coniferous stands Open Access


Other title
residual forest structure
British Columbia
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Lochhead, Kyle
Supervisor and department
Dr. Comeau, Phil (Renewable Resources)
Examining committee member and department
Dr. Macdonald, Ellen (Renewable Resources)
Dr. Silins, Uldis (Renewable Resources)
Dr. Gamon, John (Biological Sciences)
Department of Renewable Resources

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
Quantification of the effects of residual forest structure on the understory light environment is needed to guide silvicultural strategies that facilitate regeneration. In this study I measured understory light using various methods in a dry, uneven-aged mixed conifer forest in British Columbia, Canada. These measurements were collected from an experiment established in 1994 where four residual basal area treatments (8m2/ha, 16m2/ha, 24m2/ha and uncut) effectively created a gradient of structure. Estimates of stand structure including density (N), basal area (G) and stand density index (SDI) explained 12 to 38% of the variability in understory light levels. Stand variables that heavily weighted the influence of larger trees on light attenuation were weak predictors of understory light. Incorporating variables describing the composition and size of trees in the overstory greatly increased the predictive power of the models. The abundance and growth of regeneration was strongly positively related to both light and understory vegetation.
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