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Plant Community Structure and Composition in Uneven-aged Stands of Loblolly-Shortleaf Pine at Four Basal Area Levels

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The effects of overstory pine basal area on plant community structure and composition were assessed in uneven-aged stands of loblolly and shortleaf pines (Pinus taeda L. and P. echinata Mill.) in southern Arkansas. Basal area treatments were 40, 60, 80, and 100 ft²/ac for the merchantable pine component (>3.5 in. dbh) and were maintained on a 6 yr cutting cycle using single-tree selection. Assessments of plant communities were made 10 yr after a single hardwood control treatment. The four levels of pine basal area had no effect on percent ground cover of most plants <3 ft tall, but ground cover from graminoids decreased as pine basal area increased. Vertical cover above loft height increased 33% as overstory basal area increased from 40 to 100 ft²/ac, but basal area had no effect on horizontal cover in height zones between 0 and 10ft. It is concluded that uneven-aged stands of loblolly-shortleaf pine with merchantable basal areas of from 40 to 100 ft²/ac may support similar plant species in the understory and consequently probably provide similar habitat requirements for a variety of game and nongame wildlife. South. J. Appl. For. 19(2):84-88.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: School of Forest Resources, Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Arkansas, Monticello, AR 71656

Publication date: 1995-05-01

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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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