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Relationship Between the Height Growth, the 5-Year Intercept, and Site Conditions of Red Pine Plantations

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Analyses of soils and growing stock of Wisconsin red pine plantations have disclosed that irregularities in the rate of height growth are caused by the following conditions: deficiency of nutrients in the surface soil layers depleted by previous fires and farming, severe podzolization, variation in the nutrient supply of substrata, position of the ground water, and rank growth of weeds. The effect of these factors is reflected in the ratio of the average height increment (H) and the 5-year intercept (I), calculated in inches on a per annum basis. Within the age range of 20 to 40 years, plantations established on soils underlain by infertile substrata or a shallow water table are characterized by low values of H/I quotient descending with age from 0.8 to 0.6. Plantations of the same age span established on weed-invaded soils, especially those of fine texture, soils with depleted surface layers, but underlain by substrata enriched in aluminum-silicate minerals, and soils with ground water at depths from 4 to 10 feet exhibit high values of the quotient, ascending with age from 0.9 to 1.3. The paper emphasizes the importance of the chronological pattern of growth and the polymorphism of natural growth curves, indicated by the H/I quotient. Rigid ecological stratification of mensuration results is suggested as a means reducing complications of statistical analyses by erratic data, and eliminating gross errors in appraisal of young plantations on the basis of their immediate site index.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Professor of Soil Science, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Publication date: 1964-04-01

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