UBC Undergraduate Research

Is direct seeding a good option for regeneration in British Columbia? Li, Mengqi


In British Columbia, forest tenure holders have the obligation to reforest harvested areas, and the government invests in regeneration in areas damaged by wildfire or mountain pine beetle (MPB). Direct seeding (or direct sowing) is a process by which woodlands are established or re-established by sowing tree seeds at their final growing location. Direct seeding is being re-introduced in BC as an alternative to planting. Many factors affect the emergence and survival of seedlings, including temperature, precipitation, soil structure, predation and vegetation competition, all of which interact with the biological characteristics of the tree species. In field trials, site selection, site preparation, seed selection, vegetation control, increasing seeding density, sowing with alternate foods, and sowing with cover crop have been shown to improve seedling establishment. . However, the effectiveness of these techniques may vary with species, local environment, and location. Therefore, more research is needed before direct seeding can be applied broadly for regeneration in BC. Specific recommendations include: 1) more field trials; 2) enhanced communication and cooperation among research agencies and licencee holders; 3) modelling of germination response to varying conditions; 4) reduction in seed cost; and, 5) improvements in machine efficiency.

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