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A comparison of mortality rates between top height trees and average site trees

Étude comparative des taux de mortalité entre les arbres dominants et les arbres indicateurs moyens de la station

Abstract

  • • Although comparisons between methods of selecting trees for site index estimates are well documented in the literature, little is known on mortality rates of different canopy tree cohorts used for that purpose.

  • • This study was initiated to test the hypothesis that the mortality rates of top height trees are lower than those of codominants only or a combination of codominant and dominant trees. To test this hypothesis, we used records from a network of permanent sample plots in Québec and studied the fate of different cohorts of site trees for five different species.

  • • Our results did not show clear evidence of lower mortality rates for top height trees. Instead we found that depending on the species, top height trees have lower (Populus tremuloides, Pinus banksiana), higher (Picea mariana, Abies balsamea) or equal mortality rates (Betula papyrifera) than codominant trees or codominant and dominant trees combined.

  • • These results suggest a tendency for shade intolerant species to maintain lower top height tree mortality rates over time when compared to shade tolerant species. In the latter case, it is also shown that spruce budworm epidemics (Choristoneura fumiferana) did not change the pattern of mortality rates of site trees of A. balsamea.

Résumé

  • • Bien que des études comparatives sur les méthodes servant à déterminer l’indice de qualité de station sont disponibles dans la littérature, on connaît peu de choses sur les taux de mortalité de différentes cohortes d’arbres utilisées à cette fin.

  • • Cette étude a été initiée dans le but de tester l’hypothèse selon laquelle les taux de mortalité de arbres dominants sont plus faibles que ceux des arbres codominants ou de ceux d’une combinaiso d’arbres codominants et dominants. Afin de tester cette hypothèse, nous avons utilisé la base de don nées des placettes-échantillons permanentes du Québec et nous avons suivi la destinée de différente cohortes d’arbres indicateurs de la station pour cinq espèces différentes.

  • • Nos résultats n’ont pas montré de façon tranchée que les arbres dominants ont un taux de mortalit inférieur à celui des autres cohortes à l’étude. Nos résultats démontrent plutôt que selon les espèces, les arbres dominants ont un taux de mortalité inférieur (Populus tremuloides, Pinus banksiana), suérieur (Picea mariana, Abies balsamea) ou égal (Betula papyrifera) au taux de mortalité des arbre codominants ou à une combinaison d’arbres codominants ou dominants.

  • • Ces résultats suggèrent que les taux de mortalité des espèces classées intolérantes à l’ombre ont ten dance à demeurer plus faibles dans le temps lorsqu’on les compare aux taux de mortalité des espèce tolérantes à l’ombre. Pour ces dernières, les résultats démontrent de plus que l’effet des épidémie de la tordeuse des bourgeons de l’épinette (Choristoneura fumiferana) n’ont eu aucun effet sur le patrons de mortalité des différentes cohortes d’arbres indicateurs de la station en ce qui concern A. balsamea.

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Correspondence to Daniel Mailly.

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Mailly, D., Gaudreault, M., Picher, G. et al. A comparison of mortality rates between top height trees and average site trees. Ann. For. Sci. 66, 202 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1051/forest/2008084

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1051/forest/2008084

Keywords

  • top height
  • site trees
  • mortality rate
  • site index
  • permanent sample plots

Mots-clés

  • hauteur dominante
  • arbres indicateurs de la station
  • taux de mortalité
  • indice de qualité de station
  • placette-échantillon permanente