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Relationships Between Live Tree Diameter and Cavity Abundance in a Missouri Oak-Hickory Forest

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We quantified relationships between mean dbh of live, dominant and codominant trees, and cavity abundance in an oak-hickory forest in southeast Missouri. Inspection of 3,981 trees >12.7 cm dbh in 107 0.1-ha plots indicated that cavities occurred in 19.9% of all trees. White oak, black oak, scarlet oak, and hickories composed 97% of the sample. Black oak contained the greatest number and frequency of cavities; white oak had the fewest cavities. In general, the proportion of trees with cavities increased as dbh increased, but mean tree dbh per plot explained little of the observed variance in cavity abundance. Correlations between tree diameter and cavity abundance were poor because of the wide variety of factors that affect cavity development in living trees. Differences in cavity occurrence among tree species suggest that black and scarlet oaks should be selected over hickories and white oak when managing for cavity trees. North. J. Appl. For. 7:179-183, December 1990.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Ecology Research Center, 4512 McMurray Avenue, Fort Collins, CO 80525-3400

Publication date: December 1, 1990

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  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Northern Journal of Applied Forestry covers northeastern, midwestern, and boreal forests in the United States and Canada.
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