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Lichen-spruce woodland early indicators of ecological resilience following silvicultural disturbances in Québec’s closed-crown forest zone

Gonzalez Esteban, Hébert François, Boucher Jean-François, Sirois Pascal et Lord Daniel. (2013). Lichen-spruce woodland early indicators of ecological resilience following silvicultural disturbances in Québec’s closed-crown forest zone. American Journal of Plant Sciences, 4, p. 749-765.

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URL officielle: http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.4236/ajps.2013.43A094

Résumé

Lichen woodlands (LW) located in the closed-crown boreal forest are not a successional stage moving towards a closed black spruce feathermoss stand (FM), but an alternative stable state, due to their previous forest history, and the occur- rence of LWs located nearby closed-crown FM stands. Therefore, afforestation in those LWs through site preparation and plantation could shift back LW into FM stands. We implemented an experimental design with different combina- tions of silvicultural treatments in both site types (LW, FM). We monitored the evolution of plant diversity and the physiology of three bio-indicators (Picea mariana, Kalmia angustifolia, Rhododendron groenlandicum) in different microsites created by the silvicultural treatments. The return to the initial composition was noticed only two years after treatments, especially in the LW stands, thus indicating a higher level of early ecosystem resilience in LWs compared to FM stands. Mean species cover, especially in the FM stands, decreased the most in the skid trails created by logging, probably due to a lack of acclimation of bryophytes to open stand conditions. Conversely, ericaceous shrubs and lichens found in the LWs were already acclimated to open stand conditions, which give to LWs a restructuring advantage com- pared to FM plant communities after silvicultural treatments. Overall, FM and LW short-term resilience was similar, indicating equally efficient ecosystem reorganization in both stands. The comparable early resilience in managed LW and FM stands, in terms of plant biodiversity, contradicts the presumed fragility of LW stands, especially in this case where LWs are assumed to be an alternative stable state created by compound disturbances. Silvicultural treatments maintained the functional group diversity in LWs, a key element for ecosystem resilience. Therefore, this study support the idea that plantation following site preparation in LWs could be a valuable management strategy to reach several objectives, such as increasing forest carbon sinks.

Type de document:Article publié dans une revue avec comité d'évaluation
Volume:4
Pages:p. 749-765
Version évaluée par les pairs:Oui
Date:2013
Sujets:Sciences naturelles et génie > Sciences appliquées > Foresterie et sciences du bois
Sciences naturelles et génie > Sciences naturelles > Biologie et autres sciences connexes
Département, module, service et unité de recherche:Départements et modules > Département des sciences fondamentales
Mots-clés:afforestation, black spruce, Kalmia angustifolia, Rhododendron groenlandicum, logging, Picea mariana, vegetation recovery, scarification, silviculture
Déposé le:10 nov. 2015 01:20
Dernière modification:05 déc. 2016 21:06
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