Condition of the Fir-Spruce Forests on Cape Breton Island Five Years After the Onset of the Current Spruce Budworm Outbreak
Problem Addressed: Spruce Budworm
Goal(s)/Objective(s): Determine the condition of fir-spruce stands as a result of the current spruce budworm outbreak.
Key Findings: Over 25% of balsam fir is dead on the Central Highlands of Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, another 10% is dying and over 50% is heavily defoliated.
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- Magasi, L.P.
Maritimes Forest Research Centre
One hundred and six sample plots were established in Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia to determine the condition of fir-spruce stands as a result of the current spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana (Clem.) outbreak. Twenty of the plots had been established in 1976 to monitor the changes in conditions.
Results show that almost one-third (31.7%) of the balsam fir trees are dead on the Central Highlands and another 11.0% are expected to die within a year. On the Lowlands, mortality is about one-half that on the Highlands.
Fir-spruce stands on Cape Breton Island contain about 2.8 million cords of dead wood and another 700,000 cords will be dead within a year.
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