Influence of eastern spruce dwarf mistletoe on stand structure and composition in northern Minnesota

Title

Influence of eastern spruce dwarf mistletoe on stand structure and composition in northern Minnesota

Published Date

2021

Publisher

Forest Ecology and Management

Type

Article

Abstract

Black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) Britton, Sterns & Poggenb.) is one of the most common tree species in the boreal forest. However, there is limited information on one of the major disturbance agents, eastern spruce dwarf mistletoe (Arceuthobium pusillum Peck; EDM) a native, parasitic plant that influences stand development especially at the southwestern range limit of black spruce in Minnesota. The goal of our study was to quantify overstory and understory (sapling and seedling) structure and composition in productive black spruce stands across three EDM severity categories: uninfected (0% EDM), low (<50% of stand infected with EDM), and high (>50% of stand infected with EDM) across northern Minnesota during the summer of 2017. The presence of EDM infection in stands shifted species composition and structure compared to uninfected stands. Uninfected stands were dominated by black spruce in both overstory and understory and on average had a uni-modal diameter distribution. Both low and high EDM severity stands had significantly greater overstory species richness, Shannon’s diversity index, and Shannon’s Evenness compared to uninfected stands. However, stands with high EDM infections had the most black spruce infected with EDM in both the overstory and sapling layer, which will likely kill the infected trees within seventeen years and may result in a shifting in forest composition or a transition to non-forested conditions. The presence and severity of EDM influences stand structure and composition and subsequently stand development. Depending on the goals and objectives and ultimate desired future conditions both at the stand and the broader landscape level, natural resource managers may choose more or less intensive management of EDM.

Keywords

Description

Related to

Replaces

License

Series/Report Number

Funding information

Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station (projects MIN-42-101 and MIN-42-068), University of Minnesota Department of Forest Resources, and partial funding provided by the Minnesota Invasive Terrestrial Plants and Pests Center through the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR)

Isbn identifier

Doi identifier

10.1016/j.foreco.2020.118712

Previously Published Citation

Skay, R., Windmuller-Campione, M., Russell, M., & Reuling, L. (2021). Influence of eastern spruce dwarf mistletoe on stand structure and composition in northern Minnesota. Forest Ecology and Management, 481, 118712.

Suggested citation

Skay, R.; Windmuller-Campione, M.A.; Russell, M.B.; Reuling, L.F.. (2021). Influence of eastern spruce dwarf mistletoe on stand structure and composition in northern Minnesota. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy, 10.1016/j.foreco.2020.118712.

Content distributed via the University Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor. By using these files, users agree to the Terms of Use. Materials in the UDC may contain content that is disturbing and/or harmful. For more information, please see our statement on harmful content in digital repositories.