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    Author(s): Jianwei ZhangMatt D. BusseGary O. Fiddler; Ed Fredrickson
    Date: 2019
    Source: Journal of Forestry Research. 28(6): 720
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (660.0 KB)

    Description

    Thirteen-year growth response of ponderosa pine to various manipulations of understory vegetation was studied to determine if a threshold of understory cover can be established for plantation productivity and whether nitrogen-fixing Ceanothus species benefit plantation growth compared to non N-fixing Arctostaphylos species, given their ability to improve site fertility. Results showed that completely controlling competing vegetation increased plantation growth, as was universally expected, but the effects of partial shrub control on plantation performance was inconsistent. We did not find a benefit of nitrogen-fixing shrubs on tree growth, as young plantation growth was slightly better in the non N-fixing plots compared to the N-fixing plots due to differences in shrub cover. An understory cover threshold for tree growth was not observed. Due to the overriding effect of shrub competition, controlling herbaceous species had little effect on plantation growth even though it benefited tree seedling survival. A long-term value of N-fixing shrubs at these sites, if there is one, must be balanced by successful plantation establishment and rapid early growth.

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    Citation

    Zhang, Jianwei; Busse, Matt D.; Fiddler, Gary O.; Fredrickson, Ed. 2019. Thirteen-year growth response of ponderosa pine plantations to dominant shrubs (Arctostaphylos and Ceanothus). Journal of Forestry Research. 28(6): 720. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11676-019-00945-6.

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    Keywords

    Competing vegetation control, manzanita, Nitrogen-fixing Ceanothus, Pinus ponderosa growth, shrub cover

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