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Title: Tree growth at stand and individual scales in two dual-species mixture experiments in southern Washington State, USA

Author: Erickson, Heather E.; Harrington, Constance A.; Marshall, David D.;

Date: 2009

Source: Canadian Journal of Forest Research

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)


Planting with mixtures of tree species rather than single species is often considered during reforestation because of the potential increased productivity and other benefits. We examined tree growth at the stand and individual tree scales in two experiments contrasting monocultures with a 1:1 mixture of tree species: (1) Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) with a conifer of similar shade tolerance (western white pine (Pinus monticola Dougl. ex D. Don)) and (2) Douglas-fir with a more shade-tolerant conifer (western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla (Raf.) Sarg.)). There was no effect of mixture on growth or yield in the Douglas-fir - western white pine combination. In the Douglas-fir - western hemlock combination, yields in the mixture equaled those in Douglas-fir stands because of the enhanced performance of Douglas-fir in the mixture. For Douglas-fir, the height/diameter (h/d) ratio was significantly less in mixture, suggesting reduced competition for light when grown with western hemlock. In contrast, the h/d ratio for western hemlock was significantly greater in mixture, suggesting increased competition for light when grown with Douglas-fir. Neighborhood analyses showed that tree growth was directly related to initial size and inversely related to relative neighbor size and that the h/d ratio was positively related to relative neighbor size. In general, the size of a neighboring tree influenced growth more than species identity. Relationships between h/d ratios and growth rates suggest that growth differences between Douglas-fir and western hemlock in mixture will eventually increase.

Keywords: stand yield, species mixtures, forest monocultures, competitive interactions

Publication Notes:

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Erickson, Heather E.; Harrington, Constance A.; Marshall, David D. 2009. Tree growth at stand and individual scales in two dual-species mixture experiments in southern Washington State, USA. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 39:1119-1132.


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