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Articles by Nicole J. Fenton

Category: Research article

article id 7791, category Research article
Tadeusz B. Splawinski, Sylvie Gauthier, Nicole J. Fenton, Daniel Houle, Yves Bergeron. (2018). The colonization of young fire initiated stands by the crustose lichen Trapeliopsis granulosa and its potential effect on conifer establishment and stand succession. Silva Fennica vol. 52 no. 1 article id 7791. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.7791
Highlights: T. granulosa is a poor seedbed for jack pine establishment; The presence of extensive T. granulosa cover can limit ongoing tree recruitment, thereby maintaining open lichen woodland; Dry open conditions favor the establishment of T. granulosa; Stands with significant T. granulosa cover may be good candidates for afforestation initiatives due to lower evaporation potential and decreased water stress.

The resilience of closed-crown coniferous stands within the boreal forest of North America is highly dependent on successful re-establishment of tree species following fire. A shift from closed-crown forest to open lichen woodland is possible following poor natural regeneration during the initial establishment phase, followed by the development of extensive lichen cover, which may hinder ongoing recruitment. We examined the development of the crustose lichen Trapeliopsis granulosa (Hoffm.) 18 to 21 years following fire within six sites in the boreal forest of northwestern Quebec, and explored its potential to affect ongoing recruitment during early successional stages of stand development. Germination and survivorship trials were conducted within the laboratory to determine the establishment rate of Pinus banksiana Lamb. (jack pine) on T. granulosa, mineral soil, and burnt duff under two separate watering frequencies (observed and drought). Survival and establishment rates of jack pine were highest on burnt duff, and poor on both T. granulosa and mineral soil. Under the drought treatment, no seedlings survived on any substrates. In the field, T. granulosa cover had a positive relationship with mineral soil cover, and negative relationships with duff cover, ericaceous shrub cover, organic layer depth, other lichen cover, and Sphagnum moss cover. No discernable relationship was found between T. granulosa and tree density, rock cover, dead wood cover or other moss cover. The development of extensive T. granulosa cover in fire-initiated stands can impede ongoing recruitment of conifer species due to its poor seedbed quality, thereby maintaining open forests.

  • Splawinski, Institut de recherche sur les forêts, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, 445, boul. de l’Université, Rouyn-Noranda, QC, J9X 5E4, Canada ORCID ID:E-mail: tsplawinski@gmail.com (email)
  • Gauthier, Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Laurentian Forestry Centre, 1055 rue du PEPS, P.O. Box 10380, Stn Sainte Foy, QC, G1V 4C7, Canada ORCID ID:E-mail: sylvie.gauthier@rncan-nrcan.gc.ca
  • Fenton, Institut de recherche sur les forêts (IRF), Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, 445 boul. de l’Université, Rouyn-Noranda, QC, J9X 5E4, Canada ORCID ID:E-mail: nicole.fenton@uqat.ca
  • Houle, Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs, Direction de la recherché forestière, Québec, QC, G1P 3W8, Canada; Ouranos Climate Change Consortium, Montréal, QC, H3A 1B9, Canada ORCID ID:E-mail: daniel.houle@mffp.gouv.qc.ca
  • Bergeron, Centre d’étude sur la forêt and Chaire industrielle en aménagement forestier durable, Université du Québec à Montréal, CP 8888 Succursale A, Montréal, QC, H3C 3P8, Canada ORCID ID:E-mail: bergeron.yves@uqam.ca
article id 82, category Research article
Nicole J. Fenton, Yves Bergeron. (2011). Dynamic old-growth forests? A case study of boreal black spruce forest bryophytes. Silva Fennica vol. 45 no. 5 article id 82. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.82
Old-growth forests have sparked significant interest over the last twenty years and definitions have evolved from structure based to process based, acknowledging the diversity of forests that could be considered old growth. However studies frequently group all forests over a certain age into a single type, negating the dynamic processes that create old growth. In this study we examine a 2350-year chronosequence in boreal black spruce forests in northwestern Quebec to determine whether continued community change can be observed in the bryophyte layer. Bryophytes dominate the understory of boreal forests and influence ecosystem functioning, particularly in paludified forests where production exceeds decomposition in the organic layer. Community composition and richness changed throughout the chronosequence with no evidence of a steady state associated with an old-growth phase. In contrast the bryophyte community continued to evolve with multiple phases being evident. These results suggest that old-growth forests on the Clay Belt of northwestern Quebec and northeastern Ontario, Canada, should be regarded as part of the continuous gradient in forest development rather than a single state. This complicates conservation of these forests as multiple phases should be considered when planning forest reserves.
  • Fenton, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, 445 Boulevard de l’Université, Rouyn-Noranda, Québec, Canada J9X 4E5 ORCID ID:E-mail: nicole.fenton@uqat.ca (email)
  • Bergeron, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, 445 Boulevard de l’Université, Rouyn-Noranda, Québec, Canada J9X 4E5 ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 122, category Research article
Benoit Lafleur, Nicole J. Fenton, David Paré, Martin Simard, Yves Bergeron. (2010). Contrasting effects of season and method of harvest on soil properties and the growth of black spruce regeneration in the boreal forested peatlands of eastern Canada. Silva Fennica vol. 44 no. 5 article id 122. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.122
It has been suggested that without sufficient soil disturbance, harvest in boreal forested peatlands may accelerate paludification and reduce forest productivity. The objectives of this study were to compare the effects of harvest methods (clearcutting vs. careful logging) and season (summer vs. winter harvest) on black spruce regeneration and growth in boreal forested peatlands of eastern Canada, and to identify the soil variables that favour tree growth following harvest. Moreover, we sought to determine how stand growth following harvest compared with that observed following fire. The average tree height of summer clearcuts was greater than that of summer carefully logged stands and that of all winter harvested sites. Summer clearcutting also resulted in a higher density of trees > 3 m and > 4 m tall and in a 50% reduction in Rhododendron groenlandicum cover, a species associated with reduced black spruce growth. Height growth of sample trees was related to foliar N and P concentrations, and to soil total N, pH and available Ca and Mg but not to harvest method or season. Our results also indicate that summer clearcutting could produce stand productivity levels comparable to those observed after high-severity soil burns. These results suggest that summer clearcutting could be used to restore forest productivity following harvest in forested peatlands, and offer further support to the idea that sufficient levels of soil disturbance may be required to restore productivity in ecosystems undergoing paludification.
  • Lafleur, NSERC-UQAT-UQAM Industrial Chair in Sustainable Forest Management, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, 445 boul. de l’Université, Rouyn-Noranda, QC J9X 5E4, Canada ORCID ID:E-mail: benoit.lafleur@uqat.ca (email)
  • Fenton, NSERC-UQAT-UQAM Industrial Chair in Sustainable Forest Management, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, 445 boul. de l’Université, Rouyn-Noranda, QC J9X 5E4, Canada ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Paré, Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Laurentian Forestry Centre, 1055 du P.E.P.S., P.O. Box 10380, Stn. Sainte-Foy, QC G1V 4C7, Canada ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Simard, Département de Géographie, Université Laval, Pavillon Abitibi-Price, 2405 rue de la Terrasse, Québec, QC G1V 0A6, Canada ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Bergeron, NSERC-UQAT-UQAM Industrial Chair in Sustainable Forest Management, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, 445 boul. de l’Université, Rouyn-Noranda, QC J9X 5E4, Canada ORCID ID:E-mail:

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