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Growth response of lutz spruce saplings to the removal of a herbaceous competitor and the application of fertilizer in Southeast Alaska

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dc.contributor.author Dickson, Emily
dc.date.accessioned 2014-11-06T19:32:00Z
dc.date.available 2014-11-06T19:32:00Z
dc.date.issued 2014-08
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11122/4675
dc.description Thesis (M.S.) University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2014.
dc.description.abstract Herbaceous competitor species such as fireweed can impact future survival and growth of Lutz (Picea x lutzii Little, Pinaceae) spruce saplings. Fertilizer is applied to crop trees in order to supply more nutrients to promote growth. However, fertilizer benefits competitor species as well. Literature regarding the impacts of competition for resources between fireweed and spruce saplings are lacking, but the impacts of resource competition on seedling growth and fireweed are documented as significant. Seedlings are distinguished from saplings by differences in height and/or diameter. In order to test the influence of both competitor species and added fertilizer, we analyzed growth response of Lutz spruce saplings to fireweed removal and applied fertilizer through treatments and controls using a two by two factorial experiment. Results revealed that fireweed removal had a positive effect on sapling growth response, while added fertilizer alone showed no effect on sapling growth response. I found a strong, positive correlation between soil moisture and fireweed cover. I also found a strong, positive relationship between sapling growth and soil moisture as well as sapling growth and fireweed cover. This study demonstrates that spruce saplings positively responded to fireweed removal compared to the application of fertilizer. More importantly, the overall conclusion is that when saplings are not N limited soil, moisture is the driving factor in sapling height growth. The long-term effects of harvesting an efficient nitrogen competitor species are not well known and could be detrimental to future site fertility. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.title Growth response of lutz spruce saplings to the removal of a herbaceous competitor and the application of fertilizer in Southeast Alaska en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.type.degree ms en_US
dc.identifier.department Department of Forest Sciences en_US
dc.contributor.chair Barber, Valerie
dc.contributor.committee Sparrow, Stephan
dc.contributor.committee Harris, Norman


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