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Silva Fennica 1926-1997
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Acta Forestalia Fennica
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Articles by Alain Paquette

Category: Research note

article id 1716, category Research note
Nelson Thiffault, Alain Paquette, Christian Messier. (2017). Early silvicultural guidelines for intensive management of hybrid larch plantations on fertile sub-boreal sites. Silva Fennica vol. 51 no. 2 article id 1716. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1716
Highlights: Satisfactory growth can be obtained using a wide range of site preparation intensities; There is a net advantage of performing two motor-manual release treatments over a single release; A second release treatment cannot be replaced by more intensive site preparation; Planting depth had no influence on planted seedling growth after 6 years.

Use of fast-growing tree plantations on dedicated areas is proposed as a means of reconciling fibre production with conservation objectives. Success of this approach however requires fine-tuning silvicultural scenarios so that survival and growth are optimized while management and environmental costs are minimized. This is particularly challenging for hybrid larch (Larix × marschlinsii Coaz), a shade-intolerant species planted on fertile sites in Quebec (Canada) where legislation prevents the use of chemical herbicides. In this context, multiple motor-manual release treatments are often required, with high impacts on costs and social issues related to the scarcity of a qualified workforce. We established a split-split-plot design on a recently harvested site to assess the main and interaction effects of mechanical site preparation (MSP) intensity (five modalities of trenching or mounding), motor-manual release scenario (one or two treatments) and planting depth (0–3 cm or 3–10 cm) on hybrid larch seedling growth and survival six years after planting. Mechanical site preparation intensity and planting depth did not influence seedling growth after 6 years. The lack of significant interaction between MSP and release scenarios indicates that these operations should be planned independently. A more intensive MSP treatment cannot replace a second motor-manual release on fertile sites, as proposed to reduce costs. Our results also show the significant advantage of performing two motor-manual release treatments two years apart (the first one early in the scenario), over performing a single treatment. Our study provides silvicultural guidelines for the establishment of high-yield exotic larch plantations.

  • Thiffault, Direction de la recherche forestière, Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs du Québec, 2700 rue Einstein, Québec, QC, Canada G1P 3W8; Centre d’étude de la forêt, CP 8888, Succursale Centre-ville, Montréal, QC, Canada H3C 3P8 ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-2017-6890 E-mail: nelson.thiffault@mffp.gouv.qc.ca (email)
  • Paquette, Centre d’étude de la forêt, CP 8888, Succursale Centre-ville, Montréal, QC, Canada H3C 3P8; Université du Québec à Montréal, Département des sciences biologiques, CP 8888, Succursale Centre-ville, Montréal, QC, Canada H3C 3P8 ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-1048-9674 E-mail: alain.paquette@gmail.com
  • Messier, Centre d’étude de la forêt, CP 8888, Succursale Centre-ville, Montréal, QC, Canada H3C 3P8; Université du Québec à Montréal, Département des sciences biologiques, CP 8888, Succursale Centre-ville, Montréal, QC, Canada H3C 3P8; Institut des Sciences de la Forêt tempérée (ISFORT), 58 rue Principale, Ripon, QC, Canada JOV 1V0 E-mail nelson.thiff ORCID ID:E-mail: christian.messier@uqo.ca

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