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Simulation and Evaluation of Water Management Systems for a Pine Plantation Watershed

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Water management on forest watersheds can have off-site impacts on the environment as well as on-site impacts on soil water conditions for plant growth. This study was conducted to evaluate the hydrologic impacts and soil water implications for plant growth of alternative water management practices. The forest watershed system modeled was a loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) plantation in the Coastal Plain of North Carolina. The site is characterized by flat, poorly drained soils (thermic typic umbraquults) which are drained with open ditches 100 m apart. No drainage, free (conventional) drainage, alternative forms of controlled drainage and stocking control were modeled to determine effects on water table position and drainage outflow. Silvicultural systems, including an unthinned and a commercially thinned regime, were modeled. The water management systems were evaluated by criteria quantifying both off-site implications and on-site plant-water relationships. Controlled drainage systems were found to be successful in reducing drainage outflow rates and volumes and improving soil water conditions for tree growth. In addition, hydrologic components were examined over the life of the unthinned and thinned forest stands, from planting to harvest. Stand development and silviculture were shown to have significant effects on the hydrology of the forest. South. J. Appl. For. 16(1):48-56.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27607

Publication date: 1992-02-01

More about this publication?
  • 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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