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Examining the utility of advance regeneration for reforestation and timber production in unsalvaged stands killed by the mountain pine beetle: Controlling factors and management implications

Hardy Griesbauer, Scott Green

Abstract


In unsalvaged stands killed by the mountain pine beetle, the release and growth of shade-tolerant advance regeneration may provide an important reforestation pathway. Stands developing from advance regeneration may restock quickly and provide short- to mid-term harvest opportunities, but the variability in release and growth responses among these stands will create numerous management challenges. This paper reviews and synthesizes relevant scientific literature to suggest some important differences between reforestation from advance regeneration following mountain pine beetle (MPB) attack and conventional reforestation (i.e., planting or natural reforestation following “normal” disturbance events) in regards to stand dynamics and growth. Particular attention is given to the primary traits of advance regeneration that may determine its successional and growth trends following mpb attack, including species composition, abundance and spatial distribution, developmental characteristics, and overall health. Effective management of advance regeneration following MPB attack will require a better understanding of the stand-level conditions and processes that control its growth. As well, management tools such as stocking standards that are suited to managing even-aged forests may need to be re-examined to address the unique conditions of unsalvaged MPB stands.

Keywords


advance regeneration; mountain pine beetle; reforestation; stand composition; stand dynamics; timber supply

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