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Growth Reductions in Naturally Regenerated Southern Pine Stands in Alabama and Georgia

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Data from Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) units of the USDA Forest Service were used to compare average annual stand-level basal area accretion onto survivor pines in naturally regenerated pine stands throughout Alabama and Georgia. Growth rates measured between 1972-82 were compared to growth rates during the previous 10-year survey cycle in each state. Separate analyses were conducted for loblolly (Pinus taeda), longleaf (P. palustris), shortleaf (P. echinata), and slash (P. elliottii) pine cover types. The unadjusted average stand-level growth rates for survivor pines 1.0 in. diameter and greater at breast height were notably lower for all cover types during the latter survey in Georgia, while only the average unadjusted growth of shortleaf was substantially lower during this period in Alabama. However, when growth rates were adjusted with regression models to account for differences in initial stand structure (stand size class, stand density, site quality class, hardwood competition, and mortality) between the two survey periods, reductions in average adjusted basal area growth ranged from 3% to 31% during the later cycle in both states. The reductions were statistically significant in almost every case. The agents causing the growth differences were not identified, but it is unlikely that stand dynamics are responsible. The observational nature of the FIA dataset precludes further resolution of causal relationships. South. J. Appl. For. 15(2):73-79.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Southern Forest Experiment Station

Publication date: 1991-05-01

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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 Southern Journal of Applied Forestry covers an area from Virginia and Kentucky south to as far west as Oklahoma and east Texas.
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