Ecology, Silviculture, and Management of the Engelmann Spruce - Subalpine Fir Type in the Central and Southern Rocky Mountains

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The ecological, silvieultural, and managerial knowledge of Engelmann spruce (Picea engetmannii Parry ex. Engel.)- subalpine fir (Abies tasiocarpa (Hook.) NutL) forests in the central and southern Rocky Mountains is summarized and consolidated in this publication, which updates and expands a previous summary paper on subalpine forests (Alexander 1974). This publication is largely based on past research in the central and southern Rocky Mountains conducted by the Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. While much of the research was done on the Fraser Experimental Forest in central Colorado, other important studies were conducted on permanent and temporary plots on National Forest System Regions 2 and 3. This research was supplemented by research done elsewhere, mostly research done in the northern Rocky Mountains by the Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, and in Alberta and British Columbia by the Canadian Forestry Service. Past research has been directed at perpetuating Engelmann spruce, the most valuable species in the spruce-fir type. Initial studies, started by C. C. Bates and later J. Roeser, Jr., in the early 1900's, focused on methods of cutting required to establish regeneration, natural succession, seed production, and physiological requirements. Since 1935, research has broadened to include (I) silvicultural practices and other cultural trea!!nents required to regenerate and grow Engelmann spruce and associated species, (2) seed production and dispersal, (3) the relationship of environmental and biological factors to regeneration, (4) growth and mortality, (5) volume and site determination, (6) stand growth and yield, (7) artificial regeneration, (8) plant community classification, (9) development of understory vegetation, and (10) plant-water relations. In recent years, efforts have been expanded to include the effects of cultural treatments on other resource requirements. This publication presents a detailed summary of the (I) ecology and resource, and (2) the silvies, silviculture, and management of spruce-fir forests. Major emphasis is placed on the silviculture and management of old-growth and the establishment of new stands. While not all questions can be answered, this publication provides the comprehensive body of knowledge available for managing spruce-fir forests. It is intended to guide land managers and land use planners who are responsible for prescribing and supervising the application of cultural treatments in the woods.


This item was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.