We propose to examine the dynamics between hardwood and conifer trees in mixedwood stands on warm and cold sites to clarify the influence of environmental conditions on density-dependent competitive relations in mixedwood stands in the Sub- Boreal Spruce zone (SBS) of BC. The goal is to provide new scientific understanding of mixedwood stand dynamics leading to improved management guidelines that would optimize understory conifer production in mixedwood stands, while enhancing sustainability. The underlying assumption is that the relationship between hardwood density and growth of conifer crop trees differs across key environmental gradients (e.g., slope aspect, elevation, continentality). These differences should be predictable across environmental conditions due to their strong influence on key physiological (e.g., photosynthesis, shoot elongation and root growth) and phenological (e.g., leaf out and leaf drop) drivers. The initial phase of this study will seek to characterize relations between hardwood density (i.e., birch) and growth for understory spruce across an environmental gradient created by slope aspect. This information will be transferred to end users in an interactive and adaptive manner, which will provide the basis to refine the research objectives for the second phase of this long-term program (i.e., the development of a comprehensive model that could be used to predict conifer performance in mixed stands in the SBS zone). Scott Green.
Green, Scott. 2003. Characterizing the growth of spruce saplings under variable densities of birch cover on warm and cold aspects in the Sub-Boreal Spruce zone. Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program. Forest Investment Account Report. FIA2003MR337