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Title: Effects of planting spacing and site quality on 25-year growth and mortality relationships of Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var menziesii).

Author: Harrington, Timothy B. Ph.D.; Harrington, Constance A.; DeBell, Dean S.;

Date: 2009

Source: Forest Ecology and Management DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2009.03.039

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)


Growth and mortality of coast Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii) were studied for 25 years after planting seedlings at 1- to 6-m spacings on a site of moderate quality in the western Cascade Mountains of Washington. Responses were compared to those from two other studies representing high and low site qualities. Third-year height did not differ among spacings (P = 0.80), providing no evidence that close spacing stimulated early growth. Piecewise regression identified the onset of competition-induced mortality when stand density index (SDI) exceeded 52% (S.E. = 4.6) of the species' maximum or when average crown ratio (CR) declined below 52% (S.E. = 0.9). For a range of SDI values, CR averaged 2 to 7 points greater at the high-quality site than at the moderate-quality site. In a regression analysis of combined data from the moderate- and high-quality sites, relative values of average stem diameter and stand volume (% of maximum values observed per site) 23 to 25 years after planting increased and decreased with planting spacing, respectively (R2 = 0.97 and 0.91, respectively). Intersection of these relationships at 3-cm spacing indicated a point of equivalent relative development of tree size and stand yield. For a range of site qualities, stands planted at 3-m spacing: (1) maintained tree vigor (CR > 50%) and stability (average height:dbh ratio <90), (2) experienced little or no competition-induced mortality through age 25 years, and (3) allocated 25-year growth equitably to development of tree size and stand yield, thereby providing a desirable starting point for subsequent management.

Keywords: stand density, competition, crown ratio, plantation

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Harrington, Timothy B.; Harrington, Constance A.; DeBell, Dean S. 2009. Effects of planting spacing and site quality on 25-year growthand mortality relationships of Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. Menziesii). Forest Ecology and Management. 258:18-25.


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