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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The effects of slashburning on the growth and nutrition of young Douglas-fir plantations in some dry, salal-dominated ecosystems Vihnanek, Robert E.


Twenty Douglas-fir plantations, ranging from 5 to 15 years old, were examined on the east side of Vancouver Island. In all areas studied, salal was the dominant ground cover, and was suspected of being a major competitor with trees for water and nutrients. In each plantation, part of the area has been burned and part was unburned. Stocking of planted Douglas-firs was found to be greater on the burned than on the unburned areas of 16 sites and height growth of planted Douglas-firs was greater on the burned than on the unburned areas of 18 sites. Some degree of nitrogen deficiency was inferred for 17 sites, but was not attributed to burning. Height and percent cover of salal was greater on unburned areas. Differences in height growth and percent cover of salal between burned and unburned areas were seen to be greatest where inferred burn severity was high. Browsing of Douglas-fir was more prevalent on burned areas but did not result in height growth being less than on adjacent unburned areas.

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