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Type: Journal Article
Author(s): L. C. Duchesne; D. G. Herr; S. Wetzel; I. D. Thompson; R. Reader
Publication Date: 2000

Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus L.) does not regenerate well in the absence of fire, or without mechanical exposure of mineral soil, while balsam fir (Abies balsamea L. Mill.) is a common understory species on sites occupied by white pine. We conducted two experiments to explain the difference in regenerative success of these two species. First, the effect of shade and soil organic matter on the emergence of white pine and balsam fir were compared using soil monoliths from a regenerating white pine stand. Balsam fir germination was significantly lower than white pine germination at different shade levels and at different levels of soil organic matter. Second, seed predation was compared between balsam fir and white pine in a non-regenerating white pine stand. Predation of white pine seeds was 10 times greater than balsam fir predation even when seeds of white pine and balsam fir were left as a mixture on the forest floor. We speculate that seed predation is a critical factor in white pine succession and that seed predators favour balsam fir succession by selecting white pine seeds. The Canadian Institute of Forestry/Institut forestier du Canada. Abstract reproduced by permission.

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Citation: Duchesne, L. C., D. G. Herr, S. Wetzel, I. D. Thompson, and R. Reader. 2000. Effect of seed predation, shade and soil organic matter on the early establishment of eastern white pine and balsam fir seedlings. Forestry Chronicle, v. 76, no. 5, p. 759-763.

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  • Abies balsamea
  • Abies spp.
  • Betula papyrifera
  • Canada
  • ecosystem dynamics
  • fire dependent species
  • fire exclusion
  • forest management
  • germination
  • Ontario
  • organic matter
  • Peromyscus
  • pine forests
  • pine hardwood forests
  • Pinus strobus
  • Populus tremuloides
  • predation
  • predators
  • presettlement fires
  • Pseudotsuga menziesii
  • regeneration
  • seed germination
  • seedlings
  • seeds
  • soil moisture
  • soil organic matter
  • succession
  • Tsuga heterophylla
  • understory vegetation
Tall Timbers Record Number: 12875Location Status: In-fileCall Number: Fire FileAbstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission
Record Last Modified:
Record Maintained By: FRAMES Staff (
FRAMES Record Number: 38296

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by Tall Timbers and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of Tall Timbers.