Growth Intercepts - 130-303

Description: Black spruce (Picea mariana) and jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.) are not only the most abundant tree species in Ontario, they are also the most economically important.  The semi-serotinous cones of black spruce and serotinous cones of jack pine insure rapid regeneration following wildfire and fully stocked, even-aged stands are particularly common for frequently burned area such as glaciofluvial sands and for shallow to bedrock soils. Black spruce occupies about 40.8% of Ontario’s boreal forest area.  Black spruce and jack pine have also been planted extensively in northern Ontario. Jack pine occupies about 14.9% of Ontario’s boreal forest area, second only to black spruce.

The objectives of the present study are:

- To develop a set of growth intercept models for mature naturally regenerated black spruce stands using existing data from north central Ontario;

- To validate whether the growth intercept model developed from naturally regenerated mature black spruce stands can predict growth intercept rates for young (younger than 40 year) black spruce plantations;

- If required, to develop a field program to acquire stem analysis data on black spruce plantations to develop a growth intercept model.

If the growth intercept models developed from existing site index data sets for natural black spruce stands can be used to accurately predict height growth of young black spruce plantations, we can rely on these GI models. Otherwise, more stem analysis data will have to be collected from young black spruce plantations to develop new GI models and Tables more suitable for young black spruce plantations. Because black spruce has no obvious internodes or branch whorls on the stem, it is a challenge to intensively measure the growth intercepts. The final report of this project will include a set of growth intercept models applicable to black spruce plantations younger than 40 years and a relevant comparison with natural black spruce stands.

The Crown Forest Sustainability Act requires that the forests of Ontario be managed in a manner that maintains ecological sustainability.  This means that black spruce forests in Ontario have to be managed to produce a variety of forest products, including timber, while maintaining productivity capacity, wildlife habitat and biological diversity.  Ontario’s Sustainable Forest Management Model (SFMM) requires sufficiently detailed and locally calibrated yield curves in order to forecast future timber yield at a landscape level.  Achieving these goals requires better information and knowledge on the growth response of black spruce plantations in order to determine the annual allowable cut (AAC). 

This project will fill the information gap and will lead to the following advancement over previous or on-going studies. First the project will be carried out in the whole area of undertaking. The sampling sites will be located across a wide range of site quality. Second the project will develop site index and growth intercept models for black spruce. It complements the similar research work on jack pine funded by Forest Research Partnership. Third the project will be statistically designed to test if there is a difference in height.


The Project Team: Jian Wang, Lakehead University



Guo, J. and J.R. Wang. 2006. Comparison of height growth and growth intercept models of jack pine plantations and natural stands in northern Ontario. Can. J. For. Res. 36: 2179-2188.


Status Reports:

The Legacy Forest Final Report

Status Report (2007-2008)

Project Work Report (2007-2008)


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