All posts by Aleza Forest

New Publication on Lichen Research

An example of Lobaria pulmonaria, a common cyanolichen found at Aleza Lake Research Forest.
Lobaria pulmonaria grows on a mature tree (photo: Wikipedia).

Congratulations to Jocelyn Campbell (UBC PhD Candidate) and her co-authors  on their recent publication in the Canadian Journal of Forest Research. The research took place at various locations within  Aleza Lake Research Forest and surrounding ecosystems.

The paper describes a study on cyanolichens, a type of lichen that grows in wet climates and old forest conditions. Cyanolichens that grow on trees are picky about where they live. For example, this paper cites other studies that have shown cyanolichens are more abundant and diverse on sub-alpine fir trees (Abies lasiocaropa) then they are on hybrid spruce (Picea glauca x englemanii). In fact this paper shows that one of the places that cynolichens are happiest is on conifer saplings that grow under aspen (Populus tremuloides)  or cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa). This  unexplainable association was even stronger in study sites where conditions for cyanolichens were marginal, including those at ALRF.

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Update on Larch and Cedar seedlings

 

As mentioned in the previous blog, we have teamed up with the UNBC Enhanced Forestry Lab to grow some larch and cedar seedlings for planting out on the research forest.

Larch seedlings Jan 19 2010
Larch seedlings Jan 19th

Seeds were planted just before Christmas and it was the larch seedlings which popped to the surface first.   It has been and still is very noticeable the difference in growth between the two species.  

Larch seedlings Feb 15 2010
Larch seedlings Feb 15th

Talking with Steve Storch (Greenhouse Curator) last week, about the cedar seedlings in particular, he commented that the cedar seedlings appeared to germinate quicker in the conventional gravel grit compared to seeds covered with “styrogrit” (made from recycled styroblocks).   Steve indicated that the seeds covered with styrogrit seemed   to be  about 2 weeks slower  than those covered with the gravel grit. He further explained that this would intuitively make sense since the styrogrit is white and reflects heat, while the gravel grit is grey and darkens up even more when wet. this likely leads to a higher temperature near the seed which is good for seed germination in general. The white reflective grit may perform better when the seedlings are bigger when we will be more concerned with how fast the blocks dry out.

Cedar seedlings Feb 15 2010
Cedar seedlings Feb 15th
 
Cedar seedlings Jan 2 2010
Cedar seedlings Jan  19th

Styrogrit was used with the larch seeds, on all the blocks, so there isn’t a growth comparison for that species.  

 
 
 

Changing Forests with Climate Change

Written by: Mike Jull, ALRF Manager

Traditional species choices for reforestation in the sub-boreal spruce (SBS) forests of Central Interior BC tend to be historically limited to mainly spruce and lodgepole pine, Douglas-fir on some warmer sites, and subalpine fir (mainly through natural regeneration). However, two other tree species native to the BC Interior, western larch (Larix occidentalis) and western redcedar (Thuja plicata), show intriguing potential for adding to the species diversity and management of second-growth SBS forests.   Initial experience and observations suggest that western larch is best suited to warmer, better-drained, lower brush-hazard sites in the sub-boreal, while in contrast, western redcedar will be suited to some moist cool seepage sites with higher brush hazards.

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