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Title: Make way for seedlings: regenerating white spruce in Alaska

Author: Mazza, Rhonda; Youngblood, Andrew;

Date: 2012

Source: Science Findings 143. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 6 p.

Publication Series: Science Findings

Description: Alaska's boreal forest have experienced unprecedented levels of disturbance. Fire is becoming more frequent and burning larger areas compared to the 1960s and 1970s. In the mid 1990s, insect outbreaks reached epidemic proportions. During the same period, timber harvesting increased to meet demand for logs no longer coming from the Pacific Northwest forest. Alaska white spruce was particularlyaffected by these disturbances, bringing into question the ability of the species to naturally regenerate and reestablish the stands. Andrew Youngblood, a research forester with the Pacifc Northwest Research Station, and his colleagues at Oregon State University have been studying Alaska white spruce for nearly two decades. For their latest study, they established five study sites across Alaska to learn what could be done to facilitate white spruce seedling regeneration. Eleven years later, they found the type of site preparation and seedling stock type led to dramatic differences in white spruce seedling survival, height, and volume. Site preparation also influenced the composition and structure of competing vegetation. They found that areas that are not reforested immediately can be succesfully restored to productive white spruce forests through a combination of vegetation control and use of quality planting stock.

Keywords: Alaska white spruce, regeneration, spruce bark beetle, site preparation, Youngblood

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Youngblood, Andrew; Mazza, Rhonda. 2012. Make way for seedlings: regenerating white spruce in Alaska. Science Findings 143. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 6 p.


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