How Rocks Affect the Growth of Krummholz in the Mealy Mountains of Labrador
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The purpose of this thesis is to investigate how rocks affect the growth of coniferous krummholz of two species: Black Spruce (Picea mariana) and Balsam Fir (Abies balsamea). Specifically, I investigated: 1) whether krummholz are spatially aggregated around rocks; 2) whether krummholz size is correlated with proximity with rocks; 2) whether annual growth of fir stems changes with proximity to rocks; and 3) whether krummholz are more likely to be found on a particular side of the rocks. I carried out an observational study which cannot be used to determine cause and effect. It can, however, show relationships between the krummholz and rocks. This knowledge can be used to infer what processes may be occurring, which is a valuable first step in understanding the facilitation or inhibition effects rocks may have on krummholz.