- Zazzaro, Sarah
University of Maine Graduate School
Red spruce is a major component of the Acadian forest and an important timber resource. Unfortunately, populations are decreasing, with red spruce often replaced by balsam fir. As the 'gate-keeper' for the success of tree species is usually the more vulnerable seedling life-stage, we have focused our attention on differences between seedlings and how they respond to silvicultural practices. Previous studies suggest balsam fir is a competitive stress on red spruce during early development, and understory light conditions may favor regeneration of one species over the other. In this study we evaluated how seedlings of the two species performed after a simulated over story removal, with light environments rapidly changing from relatively closed canopy to open sky.