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Performance of seedlings of four coniferous species planted in two boreal lichen woodlands with contrasting soil fertility

Marty Charles, Fradette Olivier, Faubert Patrick, Bouchard Sylvie et Villeneuve Claude. (2023). Performance of seedlings of four coniferous species planted in two boreal lichen woodlands with contrasting soil fertility. Forest Ecology and Management, 527, e120601.

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Lichen woodlands (LWs) are persistent unproductive areas of the Canadian boreal forests whose afforestation may potentially remove significant amounts of anthropogenic C from the atmosphere. The choice of species to be planted is nevertheless uncertain given the particular pedoclimatic conditions prevailing in this habitat as well as the rapidly changing climate at northern latitudes. In this study, we assessed the survival and the growth rates of four boreal coniferous species in two LWs with contrasting soil fertility. Five years after afforestation, survival rate was high for all species at both sites, ranging from 60 to 100 %. Tree height and diameter at stump height (DSH) were up to 60 % and 97 % higher at the LW with higher soil fertility, respectively. The height of jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.; JP) trees was on average 15 %, 56 % and 68 % higher than that of tamarack (Larix laricina [DuRoi] K. Koch; TK), black spruce (Picea mariana [Mill.] BSP; BS) and white spruce (Picea glauca [Moench] Voss; WS), respectively. There was a significant species × soil fertility interaction, reflecting a much higher growth difference between the two sites for JP than for the other species. Annual apical growth increased from one year to the other in JP, suggesting its ability to expand its root system and to acquire resources from the mineral soil rapidly after planting. The much larger photosynthetic biomass at the more fertile site was driven by a higher number of needles produced annually rather than by a higher mass of individual needles, which did not vary between sites. The photosynthetic biomass / woody biomass ratio was not significantly impacted by soil fertility. Overall, these results suggest that JP and TK may be good candidates for the afforestation of boreal LWs and that site selection is of crucial importance to optimize plantation productivity in the mid-term. Further studies must be conducted to assess the survival and the C sequestration potential of these species in the long-term.

Type de document:Article publié dans une revue avec comité d'évaluation
Version évaluée par les pairs:Oui
Identifiant unique:10.1016/j.foreco.2022.120601
Sujets:Sciences naturelles et génie > Sciences appliquées > Foresterie et sciences du bois
Sciences naturelles et génie > Sciences naturelles > Biologie et autres sciences connexes
Sciences naturelles et génie > Sciences naturelles > Sciences de la terre (géologie, géographie)
Département, module, service et unité de recherche:Départements et modules > Département des sciences fondamentales
Mots-clés:Boreal forest, afforestation, open woodlands, black spruce, white spruce, Jack pine, Tamarack, Picea mariana, Picea glauca, Pinus banksiana, Larix laricina, survival rate, photosynthetic woody biomass ratio
Déposé le:15 nov. 2022 14:46
Dernière modification:15 nov. 2022 14:46
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