UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Assessing Differences in Competitive Effects Among Tree Species in Central British Columbia, Canada Acquah, Stella Britwum; Marshall, Peter Lawrence, 1953-

Abstract

Research Highlights: We investigated the competitive interactions among three tree species (interior Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca (Beissn.) Franco), interior spruce (Picea glauca [Moench] Voss × Picea engelmannii Engelm.), and lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta Dougl. Ex Loud. var. latifolia Englem.)) in multi-aged stands in central British Columbia, Canada. Background and Objectives: Understanding competitive interactions among tree species in mixed-species stands is fundamental to supporting silvicultural decision-making in such stands. Using the periodic annual basal area increment for single trees as our dependent variable, we investigated whether neighboring trees competed with subject trees independently of species identity. We also examined the differences in single-tree basal area growth among the three conifer species over time under different levels of competition. Materials and Methods: We developed several spatially explicit, single-tree basal area growth models for interior Douglas-fir, interior spruce, and lodgepole pine using data from 16 plots in two blocks of a long-term study (five measurements over a 21-year period) on the response to pre-commercial thinning. We compared these equations to assess whether intraspecific or interspecific competition predominated. We also examined the differences in basal area growth among the three conifer species over time under different levels of competition. Results: We found asymmetrical relationships between the conifer trees and their neighbors for all species, indicating that the main driver limiting growth in these stands is aboveground competition for light. There was evidence of higher intraspecific competition for small (

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