Effects of harvesting on aspen dominated stands

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Murray, Samantha.
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This study addresses the effects of tree-length harvest, and subsequent regeneration, of trembling aspen ('Populus tremuloides ' Michx.) dominated forests of the Duck Mountain Provincial Forest Reserve, Manitoba. Vegetation and environmental factors (including coarse woody debris loadings) were compared between harvested, unharvested edge and interior trembling aspen-dominated forest. Our objectives were to: (1) assess floristic variation of the study area, (2) quantify changes in the structure, composition and diversity of vegetation after harvest, (3) examine the trembling aspen suckering and factors controlling suckering and (4) determine and compare the size distribution and volume of CWD and slash. Three stand types were delineated by cluster analysis of shrub cover: (1) Dry (co-dominated by low shrubs); (2) Fresh (dominated by beaked hazelnut); and (3) Moist (co-dominated by beaked hazel and mountain maple). In general, current harvesting methods (assuming sustainable rotation age) are thought to havelittle long-term effect on herb and shrub community assemblages and diversity within the Duck Mountain spen dominated forests. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)