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A Method for Estimating Deciduous Competition in Pine Stands Using Landsat

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A method for identifying pine plantations that may require vegetation control using remotely sensed imagery is presented. Landsat satellite images are used to estimate the leaf area index (LAI) of competing deciduous vegetation by subtracting winter LAI from spring LAI. This differencing works because pine leaf area increases relatively little in comparison with deciduous vegetation between winter and early spring. Competing vegetation LAI levels were compared before and after midrotation release treatments to measure the success of the release treatments. The LAI differencing method estimates the relative abundance of competing vegetation in pine stands and was successful at measuring a reduction in competition levels after release treatments. Midrotation stands prior to release treatments were found to have levels of competing vegetation leaf area equivalent to stands that had never received vegetation control treatments and lower levels of competing vegetation after release treatments.

Keywords: loblolly pine; remote sensing; silviculture; vegetation control

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2012-05-01

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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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