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Energy Analyses of Forestry Practices in Oak-Pine Forests and Loblolly Pine Plantations

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Evaluation of regional management strategies for natural resources requires a common value system for measuring costs and benefits. Energy values were used to characterize and model the comparative inputs and outputs associated with mixed oak-pine forests and loblolly pine plantations in McCurtain County, Oklahoma. An energy model of the forestry industry in the county was also constructed. Expressing all types of energy as fuel equivalents (FE) permitted the calculation of energy costs for logging, land conversion, and plantation maintenance. The calculated costs of logging mixed forests and pine plantations were 11.0 x 106 kcal FE/ha and 12.2 x 106 kcal FE/ha, respectively. Converting land to pine plantations required 8.2 x 106 kcal FE/ha, and maintaining the plantation for 30 years required 0.03 x 106 kcal FE/ha. Harvested mixed-forest and pine plantation biomass amounted to 113.8 x 106 kcal FE/ha and 232.0 x 106 kcal FE/ha, respectively. The ratio of energy outputs to energy inputs was 9.0 for the mixed-forest and 9.4 for pine plantation management strategies. If solar energy is included in these ratios, the quotient was 0.31 for the mixed forest and 0.95 for the pine plantation. This 3:1 energy advantage for the pine plantation indicates the positive potential of amplifying energy subsidies while still maintaining a favorable output/input energy ratio. Forest Sci. 27:365-376.
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Keywords: Biomass; models; plantations

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Department of Botany and Microbiology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma 73069

Publication date: 1981-06-01

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2016 Impact Factor: 1.782 (Rank 17/64 in forestry)

    Average time from submission to first decision: 62.5 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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