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Impacts of coarse woody debris and edge effects on Engelmann spruce regeneration




Davy, Ryan, author
Ex, Seth, advisor
Cheng, Anthony, committee member
Smith, Melinda, committee member

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Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii Parry ex Engelm.) is a notoriously difficult species to regenerate, and there has been a history of regeneration failures following group selection cuts on the Uncompahgre Plateau. Our goal was to investigate edge effects and coarse woody debris management on regeneration success in group selection openings. Group selection is an uneven-aged system used in the West to regenerate high elevation spruce-fir forests with small (<1 ac) openings. We implemented an Engelmann spruce germination study on the Uncompahgre Plateau in group selection openings. Permanent plots were installed in spring of 2015. We altered microsite conditions by manipulating coarse woody debris amounts at varying distances from the north and south edges in combination with scarification. Findings show that the southern edge provides a benefit to spruce germination through 23 meters. Coarse woody debris was significantly beneficial at all distances from edge, and without coarse woody debris germination was extremely low.


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