Regeneration dynamics of white spruce, trembling aspen, and balsam poplar in response to disturbance, climatic, and edaphic factors in the cold, dry boreal forests of the southwest Yukon, Canada
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Shyam K. Paudel; Craig R. Nitschke; Suzanne W. Simard; John L. Innes
Publication Year: 2015

Cataloging Information

  • balsam poplar
  • boreal forest
  • boreal forests
  • Canada
  • climate variability
  • coniferous forests
  • crowns
  • Dendroctonus rufipennis
  • disturbance
  • disturbances
  • elevation
  • fire frequency
  • fire management
  • forest management
  • hardwood forests
  • insects
  • Picea glauca
  • plant diseases
  • population density
  • Populus balsamifera
  • Populus tremuloides
  • quaking aspen
  • regeneration
  • regeneration
  • seedlings
  • shrubs
  • sloping terrain
  • soil moisture
  • spruce beetle
  • stand characteristics
  • white spruce
  • wildfires
  • Yukon Territory
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: February 1, 2019
FRAMES Record Number: 54299
Tall Timbers Record Number: 31971
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Journals - J
TTRS Abstract Status: Fair use, Okay, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy 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 the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


The southwestern region of the Yukon Territory of Canada has experienced an unprecedented spruce bark beetle outbreak (Dendroctonus rufipennis) and an increase in the frequency of forest fires that extend beyond historical trends and that have caused significant impacts on forest structure and composition. A Strategic Forest Management Plan (SFMP) for the Champagne and Aishihik Traditional Territory located in the southwest Yukon was implemented in 2004 in response to the spruce bark beetle (D. rufipennis) infestation and increased fire risk. The plan has recommended salvage harvesting of beetle-killed stands as a strategy to facilitate the development of a timber industry in the region and reduce the fire risk around communities. One of the objectives of the SFMP is to maintain, restore, or enhance forest regeneration, which requires an understanding of regeneration dynamics in the region. In this study, we investigated the regeneration of white spruce (Picea glauca), trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides), and balsam poplar (Populus balsamifera) and the relationship with climatic, disturbance, and edaphic factors within the region. Multivariate canonical correlation analysis was used to assess the weighted relationship between regeneration presence/absence and environmental factors, and negative binomial regression analysis was used to model regeneration abundance of white spruce, trembling aspen, and balsam poplar. We found that although regeneration of all three species responded positively to disturbance, the broadleaved species occupied disturbed plots at higher ratios than white spruce. Regeneration of broadleaved species was higher in open sites with exposed aspects, indicating a preference for warmer sites with higher solar radiation inputs. These findings support the hypothesis that if fire increased in the region with the warmer climate predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, then the region will probably experience an increase in broadleaved species, leading to a more heterogeneous landscape. © 2015 by the Society of American Foresters. Abstract reproduced by permission.

Online Link(s):
Paudel, S. K., C. R. Nitschke, S. W. Simard, and J. L. Innes. 2015. Regeneration dynamics of white spruce, trembling aspen, and balsam poplar in response to disturbance, climatic, and edaphic factors in the cold, dry boreal forests of the southwest Yukon, Canada. Journal of Forestry, v. 113, no. 5, p. 463-474. 10.5849/jpf.14-086.