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Deer Browse Response to Pine-Hardwood Thinning Regimes in Southeastern Arkansas

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Understanding relationships between stand thinning and browse production allows land managers to encourage both white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) browse production and timber production. In our study, browse biomass was determined before thinning and two and four growing seasons after thinning a 35 yr old natural loblolly pine-hardwood stand (initially 27 m²/ha of pine and 8 m²/ha of hardwood basal area). Combinations of 3 loblolly pine (15, 18, and 21 m²/ha) and 3 hardwood (0, 3.5, and 7 m²/ha) basal areas were replicated 3 times, resulting in a total of 27 0.08 ha plots. Understory biomass was determined for 14 browse species on 25 understory plots systematically located within each plot. Browse production following thinning was dominated by grape (Vitis spp.), blackberry (Rubus spp.), Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica), and greenbrier (Smilax spp.). Most deer browse species responded negatively to retained pine and/or hardwood basal areas, with hardwoods having the greater impact. Thinning improved overall browse biomass availability for deer, but responses varied by individual species. South. J. Appl. For. 23(1):16-20.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, Clayton, OK 74536

Publication date: 1999-02-01

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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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