Effects of alternative silvicultural practices on oak regeneration in the southern Appalachians
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EFFECTS OF ALTERNATIVE SILVICULTURAL PRACTICES ON OAK REGENERATION IN THE SOUTHERN APPALACHIANS
Jean H. Lorber
The regeneration in oak-dominated stands following five silvicultural treatments was examined on four sites in the mountains of Virginia and West Virginia. Treatments included: silvicultural clearcut, leave-tree, commercial clearcut, shelterwood, and group selection. The effects of harvesting were compared among sites and among treatments. Oak regeneration dominance, measured by the relative density of dominant and codominant oak regeneration, was the most important variable calculated from the data. Oak regeneration dominance varied by site, but did not vary by silvicultural treatment; all treatments resulted in relatively low numbers. Therefore, the silvicultural treatments used here were not enough to overcome the site specific limitations to successful oak regeneration. Oak species also seemed to be less important in the regenerating stands than in their parent stands. The biggest losses in oak importance occurred on the intermediate and high quality sites; competitive oak regeneration was relatively scarce on two of the three sites with an oak site index (base age 50) of over 70 ft. Multiple linear regression analysis was used to identify the factors controlling oak regeneration at a smaller scale. The most important variables were those that described the oak stump sprouting potential, the understory and overstory oak component in the pre-harvest stand, post-harvest light and soil nitrogen levels.
- Masters Theses