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Western Spruce Budworm Impacts on Stand Growth in Dry Douglas-fir Forests, Central British Columbia Waterhouse, M.
2021
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Abstract: Western spruce budworm (Choristoneura freemani) is a common and destructive native defoliator found in Interior Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca) forests that affects tree growth and stand structure. Short-term changes in stem density and periodic annual increment (basal area and volume) were compared among treatments for a period overlapping an outbreak of western spruce budworm (WSB) (20022012) and a period of WSB inactivity (20132017). In this pilot study, there were two blocks with each containing three treatments. The treatments included a no-harvest Control, a Logged treatment with a target basal area of 15 m/ha, and a Logged-thinned treatment that included pre-commercial thinning post harvest. During the active WSB period, there was stem loss and little increase in volume in the Control and Logged treatments. There was minimal stem loss and little increase in volume in the Logged-thinned treatment. In the inactive WSB period, volume growth improved in the Control and Logged treatments and in one Logged-thinned treatment unit, while in the other Loggedthinned treatment unit growth did not improve. Among treatments in both time periods, the Logged-thinned treatment volume growth remained positive while the Control and Logged treatments were either negative or positive. In the 2017 PrognosisBC model projection, long-term growth (up to 2092) improved for all treatment units except a Logged-thinned unit where there was low stocking in the smaller-diameter classes. Despite this, projected growth in the 2012 and 2017 models showed that the Logged-thinned treatment exceeded the Logged treatment on both blocks. The best-performing partial-cut treatment unit (block 1 Logged-thinned) reached 200 m/ha of merchantable volume 55 years after the harvest, suggesting that the post-harvest basal area of 16 m/ha was too low for a 40-year planned re-entry. When an option in PrognosisBC was used to simulate an extended period of WSB inactivity, there was an improved growth response over the model base case in the partial cuts but not in the Controls, implying potential growth benefits to manipulating structure and controlling for WSB.
 
Waterhouse, M., Bradshaw, B.. 2021. Western Spruce Budworm Impacts on Stand Growth in Dry Douglas-fir Forests, Central British Columbia. MFLNRORD. Technical Report (FLNRORD). TR138
 
Topic: FLNRORD Research Program
Keywords: 
ISSN:  Scientific Name: Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca
ISBN: 978-0-7726-8051-8 English Name: Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir
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