UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Classification of mid-seral black spruce ecosystems in northern British Columbia 2008

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Classification of Mid-seral Black Spruce Ecosystems in Northern British Columbia Summary Black spruce is one of the principal species of the Canadian boreal forest. While it is one of the major timber crop species in eastern Canada, in British Columbia it is considered a non- or less valuable crop species except on sites that are edaphically unsuitable for more valuable species, such as white spruce and lodgepole pine. Its value as a crop species, however, cannot be debated in absence of productivity data for pure and mixed-species stands of black spruce in BC. From over 2,000 reports on black spruce published in Canada and the United States to date only a few originated in BC. A better understanding of ecology and growth of black spruce is needed in anticipation of future demands for timber resources in the boreal forest in this province. In BC, late-seral (old-growth) black spruce-dominated ecosystems have been investigated by many researchers, including the Ecological Program Staff of the BC Ministry of Forests who presented a general overview of the BWBS and SBS zones and site classification for these zones. However, we still need additional information about early- and mid-seral stages for a more complete understanding of black spruce ecosystems. Therefore, we developed this classification as a means to relate them to the others in the North American boreal forest. We aimed to develop a classification that organizes communities into groups in a way that shows the greatest number of vegetation and vegetation-environment relationships, is easily retained in memory, and is easily conveyed through instructions. The classification, based on 122 plots, was done according to the Braun-Blanquet approach and the methods of biogeoclimatic ecosystem classification. In addition, we also quantified relationships between site index of black spruce and direct and ecological measures of site quality. Scientia  Silvica Extension Series, Number 26, 2001 Other aspects of black spruce growth and boreal ecology are presented in the following Scientia Silvica Extension Series (SSES):  comparison of understory plant diversity between black spruce and trembling aspen ecosystems (SSES No. 32), and comparison of humus form and soil nutrients between black spruce and trembling aspen ecosystems (SSES No. 31). Distribution frequency Sample plots infrequent frequent very frequent isolated stand plot location number of plots at a location (2) (2) (7) (4) (3) (6) (6) (9) (3) (3) (4) (6) (8) (11) (5) Map showing the range of black spruce in British Columbia and the distribution of sample plots. References Krestov, P.V., K. Klinka, C. Chourmouzis, and G. Kayahara. 2000. Classification of mid-seral black spruce ecosystems in northern British Columbia. Forest Sciences Department, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC. 88 pp. Ordering Information This report is available in full colour or black-and-white printed versions or in electronic format on Scientia Silvica CD-ROM. Ordering information is available on www.forestry.ubc.ca/klinka or from Karel Klinka (klinka@interchange.ubc.ca) Site association Parent vegetation unit 100 SbPl – Lichens 110 Picea mariana – Cladina stellaris association 200 SbPl – Moss 120 Picea mariana – Vaccinium vitis-idaea association 300 Sb – Wood Horsetail 131 Picea mariana – Equisetum sylvaticum: typic subassociation 400 Sb – Tamarack 132 Picea mariana – Equisetum sylvaticum: Larix laricina subassociation 500 SbSw – Soopolallie 211 Picea glauca & mariana – Viburnum edule: Shepherdia canadensis subassociation 600 SbSw – Common Mitrewort 212 Picea glauca & mariana – Viburnum edule: Mitella nuda subassociation 700 SbSw – Meadow Horsetail 220 Picea glauca & mariana – Equisetum pratense association 800 (Sb) – Swamp Birch 310 Picea mariana – Betula nana association  Site associations delineated in mid-seral black spruce ecosystems, and their relationships with the parent vegetation units. Scientia Silvica  is published by the Forest Sciences Department, The University of British Columbia, ISSN 1209-952X Editor: Karel Klinka (klinka@interchange.ubc.ca) Production and design: Christine Chourmouzis (chourmou@interchange.ubc.ca) Financial support: Site Productivity Working Group, BC Ministry of Forests For more information contact: Karel Klinka Copies available from:  www.forestry.ubc.ca/klinka, or K.Klinka, Forest Sciences Department, UBC, 3036-2424 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4 Edatopic grid showing the generalized relationships of the eight site associations to soil moisture and soil nutrient regimes. VP 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 VD MD SD(f) F - M(f) VM(f) W(f) VW(f) P M R VR Soil nutrient regime So il m oi st ur e re gi m e 100 SbPl-Lichens 200 SbPl-Moss 500 SbSw-Soopolallie 300 Sb-Wood Horsetail 600 SbSw-Common Mitrewort 400 Sb-Tamarack 700 SbSw-Meadow Horsetail 800 (Sb)-Swamp birch fens, marshes, and swamps grasslands, shrubs, and/or stunted trees non-forested bogs


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