Well-spaced and free-growing: effects and interactions of ecosite and renewal treatments on regenerating stands in northwestern Ontario
Honours Bachelor of Science in Forestry
DisciplineNatural Resources Management
Lake Nipigon forest
Mechanical site preparation (forestry)
Renewal of harvested stands (Ontario)
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Effective renewal of harvested stands in Ontario is mandated in the Crown Forest Sustainability Act (CFSA 1994). Properly prescribed silviculture leads to forested stands that are regenerated successfully, have predictable future yields, increased value, and will meet management objectives. Regeneration status in Ontario is determined by the Well-Spaced Free-Growing Regeneration (WSFG) Assessment Procedure. The objective of this study is to determine the effects and interactions of ecosite and renewal treatments on the number of WSFG trees per plot evaluated using the WSFG Regeneration Assessment Procedure on Blackwater Blocks of the Lake Nipigon Forest in northwestern Ontario. Five null hypotheses resulted from the review of current literature: that 1) ecosite, 2) regeneration method, 3) mechanical site preparation and 4) chemical herbicide application, do not have a statistically significant effect on the number of WSFG trees per plot. The fifth hypothesis was that the interaction of ecosite, regeneration method, mechanical site preparation, and herbicide application does not have statistically significant effect on the number of WSFG trees per plot. In testing these null hypotheses, an analysis of plot data included a two-way ANOVA with ecosite and herbicide treatment, and one-way ANOVAs for ecosite and regeneration methods. A plot level statistical analysis was also used to supplement these results. Results of the ANOVAs indicate that ecosite and regeneration method both have a statistically significant effect on the number of WSFG trees per plot. Independent t-test findings were that mechanical site preparation does not significantly effect on the number of WSFG trees per plot, but herbicide application does. The key finding is that ecosite specific prescriptions for renewal treatments will lead to more WSFG trees per plot and establishment of stands which achieve the desired future forest conditions.