Article Title

White Spruce (Picea glauca) Seedling Abundance and Local Environmental Characteristics

Faculty Advisor

Jalene M. LaMontagne


White spruce (Picea glauca) regeneration is a highly variable process that is affected by factors including seedbed quality and seedling environment. This study aimed to answer three questions (i) What is the abundance of white spruce seedlings in the Huron Mountains in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan? (ii) What are the environmental conditions where white spruce seedlings are present and absent? (iii) How does white spruce seedling growth compare to balsam fir (Abies balsamea), a species more centrally located in its distribution? To quantify the abundance of white spruce seedlings and the environment in which they grow, we surveyed the number of white spruce seedlings in 164 1-m2 quadrats at each of 41 locations in six sites in the summer of 2015. Overall, white spruce seedling abundance was low; a total of only 13 white spruce seedlings were counted. In comparison, 51 balsam fir seedlings were counted. While white spruce seedlings tended to be present at lower levels of both open sky and coarse woody debris within quadrats, these differences were not statistically significant. Mature white spruce trees were present at all sites, and mature balsam fir were present at four of these sites. We found the presence of balsam fir seedlings was negatively correlated to white spruce seedling performance, with white spruce seedlings tending to be smaller than balsam fir.

Available upon request: Please email Jalene LaMontagne at jlamont1@depaul.edu

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