Effects of alternative silviculture on stump sprouting in the southern AppalachiansAuthor(s): Chad Atwood; Thomas Fox; David L. Loftis
Source: Forest Ecology and Management 257 (2009) 1305–1313.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Southern Research Station
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Stump sprouts are an important form of regeneration for a number of species in the southern
Appalachians, especially the oaks (Quercus spp.). Alternative regeneration systems to clearcutting such
as shelterwood and leave-tree systems are being implemented in many hardwood stands in the
Appalachians. However, the effects of these alternative silvicultural systems on stump sprouts are not
known. Therefore, we evaluated the impact of three silvicultural systems: a clearcut, leave-tree, and
shelterwood on stump sprouting. These treatments were implemented in seven stands in Virginia and
West Virginia in the Appalachian Plateau (AP) and Ridge and Valley (RV) physiographic provinces. The
stands were even-aged oak dominated Appalachian hardwood stands with ages ranging from 62 to 100
years. Species were placed into six groups: (1) red oak (Quercus spp.), (2) chestnut oak (Q. prinus L.), (3) white
oak (Q. alba L.) and hickory (Carya spp.), (4) red maple (Acer rubrum L.), (5) mixed mesic, and (6)midstory
groups. Partial harvesting also reduced the number of sprouts per stump for the red oak group and red
maple. Sprouting probabilities were generally less in the Appalachian Plateau than the Ridge and Valley,
particularly for the oaks (Quercus spp.). Partial harvesting systems decreased sprouting in both
physiographic provinces. However, the sprouting in specific species groups varied between the two
physiographic provinces. In the Ridge and Valley, the highest sprouting rates were in the clearcut for the
red oak (60%), chestnut oak (77%), white oak–hickory (26%), and midstory (33%) species groups. Red
maple sprouting was highest in the leave-tree (67%) in the Ridge and Valley. The mixed mesic and
midstory groups were only reduced in the Ridge and Valley. Sprouting was negatively correlated with
residual basal area for the red oak group, chestnut oak, and red maple. For the all oak species except
white oak, sprouting was reduced by about 2% for every 1m2/ha increase in residual basal area.
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CitationAtwood, Chad J; Fox, Thomas R; Loftis, David L. 2009. Effects of alternative silviculture on stump sprouting in the southern Appalachians. Forest Ecology and Management 257 (2009) 1305–1313.
KeywordsVariable retention harvest, oak regeneration, clearcut, leave-tree, shelterwood, stump sprouts
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