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Effects of Herbaceous Competition Control on Wildlife Habitat Quality in Piedmont Pine Plantations

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Wildlife biologists have become increasingly concerned about the effects of herbaceous competition control in pine plantations on wildlife habitats. Data from a study designed to test the effectiveness of herbaceous weed control with different site preparation methods were re-analyzed to assess effects on various measures of wildlife habitat quality. Three rates of Oust® (0, 2, and 4 oz/ac) were applied in mid-April the first year to planted loblolly pine seedlings at seven locations (each a complete randomized block design) in the Virginia Piedmont. Site preparation methods used were pile only (two locations), burn only, chop and burn, pile and disk, and Velpar® and burn (two locations). Results were re-analyzed to assess effects of these methods on total herbaceous vegetation coverage, forage coverage, the ratio of forage/cover, species richness, and species diversity. Although total herbaceous coverage and species richness declined in the first year after application on many locations, vegetation rebounded in the second and/or third year. Few significant differences were observed in forage coverage, the ratio of forage to cover, or species diversity. By the third year, few differences remained among treatment levels. Mechanical site preparation appeared to have less impact on all measures than chemical site preparation. South. J. Appl. For. 27(1):55–60.

Keywords: Herbicide; environmental management; forage; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; habitat; herbaceous control; natural resource management; natural resources; pine management; wildlife

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: 1: Appalachian Region Research Center, MeadWestvaco Corporation, P. O. Box 608 Rupert, WV, 25984, 2: Department of Forest Resources, Clemson University, Clemson, SC, 29634-1003,

Publication date: 2003-02-01

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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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