The overall objective of this project is to quantify selected forest ecosystem attributes in order to provide a field-based assessment of natural regeneration and overall ecosystem recovery following Mountain Pine Beetle (MPB) disturbance in northern sub-boreal spruce subzones. This objective will be accomplished through the examination of the development of an area attacked by the MPB 40-50 years ago. Our intent is to characterize the amount, quality, and growth rate of natural regeneration as well as the ecological condition and level of ecosystem recovery in these areas. Ecosystem attributes to be assessed will include tree species composition, growth and yield, understory composition, and stand structure. There is currently limited understanding of how longer-term forest dynamics will be affected by the MPB epidemic. Large areas of MPB attacked forests will remain unsalvaged and undergo natural stand development. To ensure sustainable forest management in these unsalvaged areas, and to provide data for projections of future stand development, methods must be found to gather information on (1) the length of the regeneration period, (2) expected growth rates of the new regeneration, (3) release potential of secondary structure (seedlings, saplings and sub-canopy trees expected to survive a MPB attack), and (4) overall stand development. An effective method to acquire such data is to undertake retrospective studies in areas attacked by the MPB in the past. From the late 1950s to the mid-1960s there was a MPB attack in sub-boreal spruce forests northwest of Fort St. James. Extensive pine stands were attacked around the southern end of Takla Lake, specifically along the Kuzkwa River, Bivouac Creek and Sakeniche River. Some 13,000 ha were attacked. Fairly detailed information is available on these attacks form the Forest Insect and Disease Surveys (FIDS) carried out at that time by the Canadian Forest Service. We have compared locations of the outbreaks from FIDS mapping to Google Earth images of the area and determined that extensive areas were not logged. Forests in this area are very similar in species and composition to the current MPB infestation throughout the sub-boreal forests of north central BC. This provides an excellent retrospective sampling opportunity to address many pressing regeneration, growth and yield, and stand dynamics questions currently needing answers in the present MPB epidemic area. Stands affected by the 1950s-1960s Takla Lake infestation have now been recovering from the attack for 40-50 years. We intend to use destructive sampling and stand reconstruction techniques to answer questions around (1) the regeneration delay period, (2) the abundance and size of secondary structure at the time of attack, (3) the release potential of the secondary structure, and (4) subsequent growth rates of all trees. We are especially interested in determining the potential of regeneration and secondary structure for providing mid-term timber supply relief in the present MPB infestation.
, . 2008. Evaluation of regeneration delay, release of advance regeneration, future growth rates, and stand dynamics after a 40-50 year old MPB attack in sub-boreal forests around Takla Lake. Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program. Forest Investment Account Report
Topic: FLNRORD Research Program
Keywords: Forest, Investment, Account, (FIA), British, Columbia
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