- MacKinnon, Wayne E.
Canadian Forest Service - Atlantic Forestry Centre
The species composition of surrounding forest and site characteristics have been postulated to influence growth loss caused by eastern spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana Clem.) defoliation. Forty spruce (Picea spp.) balsam fir (Abies balsamea (L.) Mill.) stands located in north-central New Brunswick, Canada, were measured for nutrition and tree growth and used to determine the effects of surrounding forest (softwood, mixedwood), (wet soil -- nutrient poor; moist soil - nutrient rich), and species group (balsam fir, spruce) on growth reduction caused by spruce budworm. Stem analysis of six trees per stand (total 240 trees) determined mean specific volume increment (SVI) per year in 1973-1993. There was relatively little defoliation during the 1989-1993 measurement period, and regression analyses showed that SVI was significantly (p = 0.0299) related to mean defoliation for only one of eight treatment classes: balsam fir on moist-rich sites in mixedwood forests. However, two period of earlier growth reduction were evident, and analysis of variance showed that balsam fir on wet-poor sites sustained 12% greater (p = 0.0071) reduction in SVI from 1987 to 1990 than balsam fir on moist-rich sites. White spruce (picea glauca (Moench) Voss) sustained 13% greater (p = 0.0198) reduction in SVI from 1973 to 1978 than red spruce (Picea rubens Sarg.) - black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) BSP). Surrounding forest type did not significantly affect SVI reduction from 1973 to 1978 or from 1987 to 1990, but from 1973 to 1978 stands in softwood forest sustained 5%-8% more growth reductions than those in mixedwood forest.