1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
South Academic Building (SAB) 150, University of Alberta, Edmonton AB
Event details: A graduate exam seminar is a presentation of the student’s final research project for their degree.
This is an ALES MSc Final Exam Seminar by Francis Scaria. This seminar is open to the general public to attend.
MSc with Drs. Brad Pinno and Sharon Meredith.
Thesis Topic: Pre commercial thinning increases merchantability and reduce western gall rust infections in lodgepole pine
Alberta’s forest industry is predicted to be impacted by short to medium-term decline in timber supply. Intensive silviculture tools, such as pre commercial thinning have been shown to increase individual tree growth, shorten rotation lengths and improve stand merchantability in important commercial species such as lodgepole pine. However, lodgepole pine stands are susceptible to western gall rust infections and thinning at a young stage may increase infection rates. But again, concrete information on these issues are missing from an operational scale. This study collected tree and stand level data from 33 operational harvest origin lodgepole pine stands consisting of 11 earlier thinned (PCT-YOUNG ;17-19 years), 11 later thinned (PCT-OLD; 23-25 years) and 11 un-thinned stands. Pre commercially thinned stands, regardless of timing, had greater individual tree size (~15% higher), greater stand level merchantable volume (~33% higher), and higher large saw log volume (~42% higher) compared to un-thinned stands approximately 40 years after thinning. Pre commercially thinned stands also have higher potential for commercial thinning since they have lower variability in tree size, more merchantable size trees and longer live crown lengths. In addition, timing of thinning did have an impact on western gall rust infections with PCT-OLD stands having lower infection rates and infection severity compared to both PCT-YOUNG and control. In conclusion, pre commercial thinning should be considered for lodgepole pine stands in order to the address timber supply issues in Alberta.