Post-Hurricane Coniferous Regeneration in Point Pleasant Park
Steenberg, James W.N.
Peter, N. Duinker
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Point Pleasant Park in Halifax, Nova Scotia, sustained catastrophic forest disturbance from Hurricane Juan in September, 2003. This study assessed the adequacy of natural coniferous regeneration in the park in the fall/winter of 2006-2007 and compared the regeneration with pre- and post-disturbance park surveys. The park was stratified using existing trails, transects were spaced 10 m apart, and 20 m2 plots were laid every 10 m. There was a large observed variation of seedling density, with the highest densities being found in the northern and western section of the sample area, and the lowest being found in the south-east. Red spruce was the dominant regenerating species. Balsam fir showed a high variation in density. White pine was less dense and fairly uniformly distributed whereas eastern hemlock had a sparse and patchy distribution. White spruce and exotic species were sparse and tended to be found in areas with lower total regeneration. The comparison with the pre- and post-disturbance park surveys revealed regeneration similar in composition to existing and pre-disturbance forest cover. There are several park management techniques that could benefit park recovery such as the use of donor sites, the importation of favourable conifer species for fill-planting, the culling of some exotic species, and volunteer planting programs.