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Twenty-Five Years of Intensive Forest Management with Southern Pines: Important Lessons Learned

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A commitment to long-term forest research provides the basis and opportunity to understand developmental processes and stand dynamics over an entire rotation. The southeastern United States has undergone a significant evolution in forest management practices over the last 60 years, especially in regard to the intensification of pine plantation silviculture. However, few studies have examined production relationships for an entire rotation. This article reviews results from a rotation-length experiment that tested factorial combinations of understory competition control and sustained fertilizer additions on the productivity and stand dynamics of loblolly (Pinus taeda L.) and slash pine (Pinus elliottii var. elliottii) in north central Florida. After 25 years, fertilizer and competition control treatments increased site index (base age, 25 years) from 64 to 87 ft in loblolly pine and from 75 to 88 ft in slash pine. In addition, these cultural treatments increased total stand stem volume accumulation by 1.8‐2.2-fold compared with the control treatments for slash and loblolly pine, respectively; the proportion of volume in high-value product classes such as chip-n-saw (C/S) and sawtimber was also increased in both species (e.g., 39% in C/S and sawtimber in the loblolly pine control treatment versus 74‐87% in the fertilizer and/or weed control treatments). Overall, results from this study, as well as others in the region, highlight the overriding importance of soil nutrient supply on long-term productivity of southern pine stands.
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Keywords: fertilization; loblolly pine; long-term research; production dynamics; slash pine; weed control

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-10-01

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  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.

    2016 Impact Factor: 1.675 (Rank 20/64 in forestry)

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    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

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