Paludification Project - 140-702

Description: Paludification, where organic material accumulates on the forest floor creating a cold, water logged environment for tree growth, is a dominant process in the CLay Belt where slight slopes and fine soils are common. Paludified stands, where tree roots are in the organic material and not in the mineral soil due to water table rise, present a unigue problem for forest management, as naturally they would be regenerated by a high severity fire that would remove a significant portion of the organic matter, and create appropriate seed beds for seed establishment. However, current harvesting techniques (CLAAG) are closer to a low severity fire where only the tree layer is removed, leaving the organic material intact.

The objectives of this study are to:
  • Determine the actual stocking levels and growth rates on sites that were harvested using past techniques (clear cut with and without prescribed burn) and current techniques (CLAAG, CPRS)
  • Determine which harvest method and site preparation treatment results in the best regeneration establishment, highest growth rates, and foliar nutrition on paludified black spruce sites in the Clay Belt of Ontario and Quebec
  • Determine which harvest method and site preparation treatment is the most effective at reducing paludification


The Project Team: Yves Bergeron, UQAT, David Pare, CFS, John Parton, OMNR, Louis Dumas, Tembec, Nicole Fenton, UQAT



Simard, M. et al. 2007. Forest productivity decline caused by successional paludification of boreal soils. Ecological Applications 17: 1619-1637.

Draft manuscript for Forest Ecology and Management: Simard, M. et al. Predicting Potential Productivity Gains of Paludified Black Spruce Forest

Impact de la perturbation du sol lors de la coupe sur les propriétés physico-chimiques des sols et la croissance de l’épinette noire dans les pessières à mousses entourbées de la ceinture d’argile.


Technical Notes/ Reports:

Palludification des sites forestiers sur les basses-terres de la Baie James: un phénomène à gérer


Tree Tips:

Tree Tip for Project 140-702, February 2009



Effect of Prescribed Burning on Paludification and Black Spruce Growth

Impact of Soil Disturbance Created by Harvest and Site Preparation Techniques on Soil Properties and Tree Growth in Black Spruce Stands Prone to Paludification

Effets du brûlage dirigé sur l’entourbement de la pessière noire à mousse (poster)

Le brûlage dirigé, une préparation de terrain pour lutter contre l’entourbement de la pessière noire à mousse (poster)

Impact de la perturbation du sol par diverses méthodes de récolte sur les propriétés des sols et la croissance des arbres dans des pessières à mousses entourbées

Croissance de l’épinette noire en résponse à diverses méthodes de récolte dans les peuplements entourbés de la ceintre d’argile (poster)

Impact of soil disturbance created by careful logging and clearcut harvest on soil properties and tree growth in black spruce stands prone to paludification

Le brûlage dirigé, un outil contre l’entourbement

Prescribed burning a tool against paludification (Feb 2008)

Prescribed burning a tool against paludification? (July 2008)

Faut-il brasser la mousse pour améliorer la croissance des épinettes noires?

Prescribed burning effects on paludification in black spruce forests (poster)

Le brûlage dirigé, une préparation de terrain pour lutter contre la paludification


Status Reports:

Understanding, Detecting, and Controlling Paludification for an Enhanced Productivity of Poorly Drained Black Spruce Sites

Status Report (2007-2008)

Project Work Report (2007-2008)

Status Report (2008-2009)

Financial Summary (2008-2009)

Status Report (2009-2010)


For Additional Information Contact:

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it