Overstory and understory dynamics of whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) ecosystems of northwestern British Columbia

  • Author / Creator
    Clason, Alana
  • Whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) is declining across its range due to disturbances such as mountain pine beetle and white pine blister rust. In this thesis, I assess the response and vulnerability of whitebark pine ecosystems to multiple stressors and disturbances at the northern edge of P.albicaulis’ range in the Coastal Mountains of British Columbia, Canada. Both the compositional change over time of overstory and understory communities as well as vegetation spatial patterns suggest that different sites or ecosystem types housing whitebark pine may differ in their response to disturbance and stress. Surveys conducted ~ 20 years apart indicate that overstory community change differed between site types following the decline of P. albicaulis over time, while the understory did not change significantly. The spatial pattern of overstory species and understory communities also indicates that site type may be important in determining forest change under ongoing disturbance to whitebark pine.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2010
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. 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.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Haeussler, Sybille (Ecosystem Science and Management Program, University of Northern British Columbia)
    • Hamann, Andreas (Renewable Resources)
    • Hik, David (Biological Sciences)