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Quantifying flooding effects on hardwood seedling survival and growth for bottomland restoration

Formally Refereed
Authors: John M. Kabrick, Daniel C. Dey, J.W. Van Sambeek, Mark V. Coggeshall, Douglass F. Jacobs
Year: 2012
Type: Scientific Journal
Station: Northern Research Station
Source: New Forests. 43: 695-710.


Growing interest worldwide in bottomland hardwood restoration necessitates improved ecological understanding of flooding effects on forest tree seedlings using methodology that accurately reflects field conditions. We examined hardwood seedling survival and growth in an outdoor laboratory where the timing, depth, duration, and flow rate of flood water can be carefully controlled while simulating natural soil conditions occurring in floodplains. Flooding treatments were initiated in mid-May and included partial inundation (15-20 cm) during the growing season for 5-week flowing, 5-week standing, 3-week flowing, and control. We monitored the vigor, survival, and growth (changes in basal diameter and stem length) of six hardwood species representing a wide range in expected flood tolerance including eastern cottonwood (Populus deltoides Bartr. Ex Marsh.), pin oak (Quercus palustris Muenchh.), swamp white oak (Q. bicolor Willd.), bur oak (Q. macrocarpa Michx.), black walnut (Juglans nigra L.), and pecan [Carya illinoensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch].


flood tolerance, restoration, bottomland hardwoods, seedling growth, seedling survival


Kabrick, John M.; Dey, Daniel C.; Van Sambeek, J.W.; Coggeshall, Mark V.; Jacobs, Douglass F. 2012. Quantifying flooding effects on hardwood seedling survival and growth for bottomland restoration. New Forests. 43: 695-710.