Matthew Plotnikoff 

MSc Graduate, 2000

Matthew completed his BA in Geography from Simon Fraser University in 1994. He then went on to work for various consulting companies before returning to Simon Fraser University for his M.Sc. in Geography (forest ecology & soils) which he completed in the summer of 2000. Matt is currently working as a resource specialist in the Department of Earth Sciences at Simon Fraser University.

Summary of Research:

Evaluation of Lodgepole Pine Growth and Soil Properties on Rehabilitated Landings

While considerable research has been conducted in the area of site preparation and site productivity in British Columbia, these efforts have largely excluded the road and landing networks associated with timber harvesting. Access structures and loading/processing areas (landings) previously exempt from reforestation efforts are now considered to be a significant loss to the area of ‘productive’ forest in the province. Current efforts are aimed at rehabilitating and reclaiming these unproductive areas; however, research assessing the effectiveness and efficiency of these attempts is extremely limited.

The research project proposed here will evaluate the growth response of lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) seedlings planted on landings which have undergone treatment with a winged subsoiler. Assessment of soil physics and chemistry will also be conducted on these sites and results compared to control plots established on undisturbed (non-landing) areas. The objectives of this study are to: (a) assess the effectiveness of the winged subsoiler in restoring site productivity, and: (b) determine the conditions necessary for successful rehabilitation when using this treatment.

Landing selection will be based on a number of criteria including year of treatment (1991) and a minimum requirement of five growing seasons for planted stock. Measurements will be made within each of three (3.99 m radius) circular plots randomly located within each landing and control area. Sampling within these subplots will include: tree height, internode length, stocking density, depth to restricting layer, composite soil samples (for analysis of organic matter content, soil chemistry, texture, and coarse fragment content), and depth of forest floor. Further, a subsample of landings and controls will be used to conduct foliar analysis, and assess soil bulk density, moisture retention, and aeration porosity.

Research will be conducted within each of three forest districts: Boundary (south central BC), Kalum and Kispiox (northwestern BC). These areas were identified for their extensive landing rehabilitation programs and will allow for sufficient replication of experimental units (landings).


Plotnikoff, M.R., Bulmer, C.E. and Schmidt, M.G. 2002. Soil properties and tree growth on rehabilitated forest landings in the interior cedar hemlock biogeoclimatic zone: British Columbia. Forest Ecology and Management. 170:199-215.
Plotnikoff, M.R. 2000. Evaluation of lodgepole pine growth and soil conditions on rehabilitated landings, Interior B.C. M.Sc. thesis. Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C.

Forest Productivity and Soil Conditions on Rehabilitated Landings: Interior British Columbia. Abstract for EN40