Current issue: 54(1)

Under compilation: 54(2)

Impact factor 1.683
5-year impact factor 1.950
Silva Fennica 1926-1997
Acta Forestalia Fennica

Articles by Michael K. Hoepting

Category: Research article

article id 10209, category Research article
Claudie-Maude Canuel, Nelson Thiffault, Michael K. Hoepting, James C.G. Farrell. (2019). Legacy effects of precommercial thinning on the natural regeneration of next rotation balsam fir stands in eastern Canada. Silva Fennica vol. 53 no. 4 article id 10209.
Highlights: We investigated the potential legacy effects of precommercial thinning in next rotation, dense natural balsam fir stands; Precommercial thinning had few legacy effects on next rotation stands and should not impair their regeneration; Balsam fir dominated the regeneration layer. Other tree species were almost absent.

The Green River precommercial thinning (PCT) trial was established between 1959–1961 in New Brunswick (Canada) within natural balsam fir (Abies balsamea (L.) Mill.)-dominated stands. Three silviculture scenarios differing only by the increasing nominal spacings of PCT treatments (1.2 m, 1.8 m, 2.4 m) were compared to an unthinned control within randomized replicates that were clearcut harvested in 2008 and treated with herbicide in 2011. During the fourth post-harvest growing season, we assessed regeneration, competing vegetation and coarse woody debris (CWD; differentiated between large woody debris and slash) to assess the legacy effects of PCT on regeneration of next rotation stands. Our results confirmed that silviculture scenarios including PCT significantly increased conifer stocking in treated plots compared to control conditions, but only in the 1.8 m nominal spacing. Considering that treated and untreated stands were fully stocked, we conclude that PCT using the spacing gradient tested has no legacy effect on the regeneration of next rotation natural balsam fir stands. Given the known sensitivity of balsam fir to future climate conditions in this region, we suggest that future treatments should promote tree species diversity to support ecosystem resilience to climate change by favouring more warm-adapted species, such as some hardwoods.

  • Canuel, Faculté de foresterie, géographie et géomatique, Université Laval, Québec, QC G1V 0A6, Canada;  Canadian Wood Fibre Centre, Natural Resources Canada, 1055 du P.E.P.S., P.O. Box 10380, Sainte-Foy Stn., Québec, QC G1V 4C7, Canada ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Thiffault, Canadian Wood Fibre Centre, Natural Resources Canada, 1055 du P.E.P.S., P.O. Box 10380, Sainte-Foy Stn., Québec, QC G1V 4C7, Canada ORCID ID: E-mail: (email)
  • Hoepting, Canadian Wood Fibre Centre, Natural Resources Canada, 1219 Queen St. E., Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6A 2E5, Canada ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Farrell, Canadian Wood Fibre Centre, Natural Resources Canada, 1350 Regent Street, P.O. Box 4000, Fredericton, NB E3B 5P7, Canada ORCID ID:E-mail:

Click this link to register for Silva Fennica submission and tracking system.
Log in
If you are a registered user, log in to save your selected articles for later access.
Contents alert
Sign up to receive alerts of new content
Your selected articles

Committee on Publication Ethics A Trusted Community-Governed Archive