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    Author(s): Rodrigo V. Leite; Brent R. Frey; Jonathan Stoll
    Date: 2016
    Source: In:Proceedings of the 18th biennial southern silvicultural research conference. e-Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-212. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 614 p.
    Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
    Station: Southern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (188.0 KB)

    Description

    The Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley (LMAV) once had the largest expanse of bottomland forest cover in the United States, but these diverse forests have been heavily cleared for agricultural purposes. In recent decades significant forest restoration efforts have been attempting to restore bottomland forest cover and the environmental services it provides (e.g. water quality, soil conservation, wildlife habitat). One of the most commonly planted groups of species in these afforestation efforts are different oak (Quercus spp.) species However, information about their growth and yield are lacking. The objective of this study is to collect information related to oak growth and yield in bottomland hardwood restoration plantings by using a complete stem analysis approach. Different oak species, ranging in age from 8 to 20 years, were felled and tree discs were removed from the base and at regular intervals along the tree stem. Each tree disc was dried, sanded and then their growth rings measured. Overall, mean height increment varied over time, but generally increased with age. There was substantial height increment variation among individual trees, with increment ranging from less than 0.5m/year, to 2m/year or more in some years. Height growth trajectories differed widely among sample trees, likely reflecting differences in site quality, genetic differences, seedling stock quality, and/or vegetation competition. The information about height, diameter and volume growth over the years acquired by a complete stem analysis can be used in the development of site index curves, employed to classify and compare the growth rates of different sites. This information will increase our knowledge about oak growth and yield in afforestation stands, and improve bottomland hardwood restoration efforts in the LMAV.

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    Citation

    Leite, Rodrigo V.; Frey, Brent R.; Stoll, Jonathan. 2016. Growth analysis of oak trees in bottomland hardwood restoration planting in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley.  In:Proceedings of the 18th biennial southern silvicultural research conference. e-Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-212. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 2 p.

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