Natural and artificial regeneration in northern hardwood stands in relation to harvest, browsing, and competition.
Keywords:Natural regeneration, artificial regeneration, northern hardwoods, harvest, browse, competition
To this day among northern hardwood stands of Quebec, Canada, natural regeneration has typically been the main way of renewing forest stands following partial harvest. However, important challenges will affect these stands in the near future, given that the main target tree, sugar maple, does not regenerate as easily as it did in the past. This is likely a multifactorial phenomenon: increasing presence of American beech in the understory, high levels of deer browsing, decreasing soil fertility, etc. In parallel, climate change and other global shifts (e.g. invasive species) might lead to resilience issues that will require a higher diversity of regenerating species, potentially through enrichment planting. We will present results from both experimental studies and operational-scale data in order to discuss the current state and potential future of the regeneration of hardwood forests.