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Influence of herbicides and felling, fertilization, and prescribed fire on longleaf pine growth and understory vegetation through ten growing seasons and the outcome of an ensuing wildfireAuthor(s): James D. Haywood
Source: New Forests 41:55–73
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
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DescriptionRestoring longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) over much of its original range requires artificial regeneration. In central Louisiana, USA, two fertilization levels - No (NF) or Yes (F-36 kg/ha N and 40 kg/ha P) in combination with three vegetation treatments - Check, four prescribed fires (PF), or multi-year vegetation control by herbicidal and mechanical means (IVM) were applied to container-grown longleaf pine plantings in a grass savanna. After 10 years, P concentration in longleaf pine foliage was less on NF plots than F plots, but fertilization did not significantly affect tree stature. Survival was greater on NF plots than F plots, and so, NF plots were more productive (NF—63 m³/ha and F—45 m³/ ha). Pine trees on IVM plots (37 dm³/tree) were significantly larger than on Check and PF plots, which averaged 17 dm³/tree. Survival was better on IVM plots (88%) than PF plots (78%), which was better than Checks (58%). Consequently, IVM plots were most productive (99 m³/ha), followed by PF plots (44 m³/ha), and lastly Checks (28 m3/ha). PF plots had greater grass cover (38%) than Check and IVM plots, which averaged 5%, whereas PF and IVM plots had less understory arborescent cover (an average of 25%) than Checks (91%). A wildfire in March 2007 reduced pine survival by 22, 14, and 1 percentage points on IVM, Check, and PF plots, respectively. Seven months later, longleaf pine production had decreased to 92 m³/ha on IVM plots while increasing to 55 m³/ha on PF plots and 30 m³/ha on Checks. Overall, the wildfire rejuvenated the herbaceous plant community. Grass cover on Check and IVM plots averaged 20% while grass cover on PF plots was 36%. Forb cover increased on all treatments from 2% before the wildfire to 13% seven months after the wildfire. Understory arborescent cover decreased on Checks to 62% but increased slightly on PF and IVM plots and averaged 30%.
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CitationHaywood, James D. 2011. Influence of herbicides and felling, fertilization, and prescribed fire on longleaf pine growth and understory vegetation through ten growing seasons and the outcome of an ensuing wildfire. New Forests 41:55–73.
KeywordsArson, Diammonium phosphate, Hexazinone, Pinus palustris Mill., Sethoxydim, Triclopyr, Vegetation management
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