Variable retention harvesting (VRH) has been proposed as a silvicultural practice to maintain biodiversity and ecosystem integrity. No previous study has examined tree carbon isotope discrimination to provide insights into water stress that could lead to dieback and mortality of trees following VRH. We measured and compared the carbon isotope ratios (δ13C) in stem wood of trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) before and after VRH. Eight trees were sampled from isolated residual, edge and control (interior of unharvested stand) positions from each of seven plots in three regions (Calling Lake and Drayton Valley, Alberta and Lac Duparquet, Qu
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