Aspen-spruce in Fort Nelson


Kabzems, Richard D., and García, Oscar.
Structure and dynamics of trembling aspen - white spruce mixed stands near Fort Nelson, B.C.
Canadian Journal of Forest Research 34(2), 384-395. 2004.

Journal link

Two kinds of stands:

(1)  Stratified, with aspen dominant and spruce underneath.


Example.  Total and crown-base heights (vertical lines show extent of the crown).  DBH = diameter at breast height.
(2)  Co-dominant, with aspen and spruce sharing the upper canopy.

5 stands studied, 3 stratified and 2 co-dominant.

Conventional wisdom would suggest that these represent different succesional stages:  the spruce catches up with the aspen, and eventually replaces it.


Not true!  Reconstruction of past growth from growth ring measurements showed that stratified stands originated from a delay in spruce regeneration.  And it does not look like it is going to catch-up anytime soon.
And co-dominant stands have always been (sort of) co-dominant.

The 5 stands looked at.

Is this peculiar to Northern BC?

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