New Forests

, Volume 45, Issue 1, pp 131–147 | Cite as

White pine (Pinus strobus L.) regeneration dynamics at the species’ northern limit of continuous distribution

  • Yadav Uprety
  • Hugo Asselin
  • Yves Bergeron
  • Marc J. Mazerolle


The abundance of eastern white pine (Pinus strobus L.) has been significantly reduced across its distribution range over the past few centuries. The species’ regeneration dynamics is well documented in the centre of its range, but is poorly understood at the northern limit of continuous distribution. To address this knowledge gap, we quantified natural white pine regeneration in unmanaged mature stands, identified the most important variables influencing it, and evaluated the impact of damaging agents, namely white pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola J.C. Fisch.), white pine weevil (Pissodes strobi Peck), and herbivory. We also quantified the influence of remnant stands and residual trees on the spatial distribution of regeneration in logged sites. The results reveal continuous but low recruitment in mature stands. The basal area of balsam fir (Abies balsamea (L.) Miller) had a strong negative effect on white pine regeneration. Regeneration was more abundant than expected on moister substrates, including moss, decaying wood and organic matter. White pine regeneration was noted in recently logged areas, where distance from remnant stands had a significant effect on the abundance of white pine regeneration. The northern limit of continuous distribution holds potential for white pine restoration, for example by preserving remnant white pine stands that can provide seed sources for natural regeneration in a shelterwood cut system, or in adjacent clearcut areas. This study illustrates that different management strategies should be used near northern range limits, where effects of site conditions and disturbance agents are different than in the center of a species’ range.


White pine Regeneration Blister rust Weevil Remnant stands Moss Balsam fir 



We thank Sophie Delisle for help preparing field work, and Carine Côté-Germain and Ahmed El Guellab for help in the field. Thanks also to Mélanie Desrochers (Centre for Forest Research, Université du Québec à Montréal) for helping with Fig. 1 design. We also thank Editor-in-Chief Dr. Douglass F. Jacobs and two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments on earlier versions of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yadav Uprety
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Hugo Asselin
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Yves Bergeron
    • 2
    • 3
  • Marc J. Mazerolle
    • 3
  1. 1.Canada Research Chair in Aboriginal ForestryUniversité du Québec en Abitibi-TémiscamingueRouyn-NorandaCanada
  2. 2.NSERC-UQAT-UQAM Industrial Research Chair in Sustainable Forest ManagementUniversité du Québec en Abitibi-TémiscamingueRouyn-NorandaCanada
  3. 3.Centre for Forest ResearchUniversité du Québec en Abitibi-TémiscamingueRouyn-NorandaCanada

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