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Seven-Year Effects of Midstory Removal on Natural and Underplanted Oak Reproduction

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Abstract:

Midstory removal can enhance the development of oak advance reproduction on higher quality sites; however, the long-term response of oak species common to intermediate quality sites is relatively unknown. Within the western edge of the Northern Cumberland Plateau, we investigated the 7-year response of natural and underplanted black oak (Quercus velutina Lamb.), white oak (Quercus alba L.), and natural red maple (Acer rubrum L.) reproduction following midstory removal. After implementing midstory removal on four sites with an adjacent unaltered control, we compared survival, size, and competitive position of black oak, white oak, and red maple seedlings after seven growing seasons. We found that survival, mean height, and mean groundline diameter of oak and red maple seedlings were generally higher following midstory removal. We also characterized oak competition by observing density and composition of tree reproduction present after seven growing seasons. In both treatments, red maple and other shade tolerant species were more abundant than oak seedlings. Results indicate that while the midstory removal was successful in improving oak development, removal of competitor species like red maple may be necessary to ensure future oak recruitment.

Keywords: Acer; Quercus; oak regeneration; shelterwood; underplanting

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5849/njaf.12-001

Publication date: 2012-12-01

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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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