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Investigating Fire as a Silvicultural Tool for Regeneration of Mountain Pine Beetle-killed Serotinous Pine of Northern Alberta Open Access


Other title
Mountain Pine Beetle
Cone Opening
Serotinous Pine
Cone Moisture
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Sharpe, Maria E.
Supervisor and department
Lieffers, Vic (Renewable Resources)
Examining committee member and department
Flannigan, Mike (Renewable Resources)
Beverly, Jen (Renewable Resources)
Ramirez, Guillermo Hernandez (Renewable Resources)
Department of Renewable Resources
Forest Biology and Management
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
Serotinous pine forests in Western Canada are threatened by a record-breaking mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae; MPB) outbreak - the largest recorded in Western North America. Forest managers are concerned with whether these closed-cone MPB-killed forests will successfully regenerate. The study indicates fire is required for successful regeneration and suggests that of the two limiting factors of serotinous pine regeneration, the differences are likely accounted for by cone opening. It was evident in the data, however, that the objective of duff removal is not as greatly achieved after surface fire and, quite likely linked, MPB-killed stands will likely regenerate most successfully after a continuous crown fire. Due to the variable nature of fire, however, it is difficult to provide a clear recommendation on which type of fire would yield the greatest regeneration. This study is the first to clearly indicate there is active moisture exchange of serotinous lodgepole pine cones from both live and MPB-killed trees. The moisture exchange rate was similar among cones of live and MPB-killed trees, but it takes more time to open cones from MPB-killed trees. The results suggested that cone moisture is not the sole driving factor determining the time taken to open serotinous cones, but the mortality condition and age also play a role in the process. This indicates that the cones from MPB-killed trees might have wider window of survival after fire.
This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for the purpose of private, scholarly or scientific research. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
Citation for previous publication
Sharpe, M. and S.R. Ryu. 2015. The moisture content and opening of serotinous cones from lodgepole pine killed by the mountain pine beetle. The Forestry Chronicle. 91(3): 260-265.

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