Changes in a Flatwoods Site Following Intensive Preparation

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Abstract:

Changes in microtopography, nutrient levels, and vegetation were followed for 4 years on treated plots in a north Florida flatwoods site. Plots were disk-harrowed, bedded to heights of either 15 or 30 cm above the normal ground line, and planted to Pinus elliottii. Site preparation changed the microtopography from flat to undulating, concentrated organic matter and nutrients in the beds, and nearly eliminated the typical flatwoods understory of Serenoa repens, Ilex glabra, and Aristida stricta. Four years later, Ilex glabra was the only major species showing signs of returning to its original frequency; meanwhile Panicum, Paspalum, Andropogon, Rubus, and Vaccinium predominated. Both high and low bedding increased the frequency of plants important for wildlife food and cover. Site preparation greatly altered the composition of vegetation and most species tended to be stratified by micro-relief. High bedding effected the greatest changes in microtopography, soil nutrient levels, and vegetation. Forest Sci. 20:230-237.

Keywords: Microtopography; Pinus elliottii; nutrients; succession; wildlife habitat

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Associate Silviculturist, Southeastern Forest Exp. Stn., USDA Forest Service, Olustee, Fla

Publication date: September 1, 1974

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