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Effects of Interfering Vegetation on Biomass, Fascicle Morphology and Leaf Area of Loblolly Pine Seedlings

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Loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) seedlings growing with no interfering vegetation were consistently greater in diameter and biomass than those growing with only herbaceous vegetation. Seedling diameter and biomass were more responsive than height to reduction in interfering vegetation. During the first growing season in the field, pine growth appeared to be influenced more by the presence of herbaceous than woody vegetation. For a given seedling age, the proportion of biomass in branches increased as interfering vegetation decreased. Seedling age and the absence of interfering vegetation each increased the percentage of foliage biomass in four-needled fascicles, fascicle diameter, total length, sheath length, dry weight, and surface area and decreased specific leaf area. Four-needled fascicles from two-year-old seedlings, growing with or without herbaceous vegetation, tended to be greater in diameter, total length, sheath length, dry weight, and surface area and were approximately equal in density to three-needled fascicles. Leaf area (total needle surface area) was strongly related to groundline basal area and was quite responsive to changes in herbaceous vegetation. The strong relationship between stem diameter and leaf area at several levels of interference suggests that either measure might be used as an indicator of loblolly pine response to interference from other plants. Forest Sci. 32:1016-1031.
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Keywords: Foliage; branch; competition; crown; groundline basal area; specific leaf area; stem

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Assistant Professor, School of Forestry, Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, Auburn University, AL 36849

Publication date: 1986-12-01

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
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