James W.N. Steenberg, Peter N. Duinker


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.
Keywords: Regeneration, succession, disturbance, Acadian Forest Region,
park management, forest ecology, Atlantic Canada

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