I evaluated effects of 5 pine plantation establishment regimes 6–8 years postestablishment on loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) growth, vegetation characteristics, nutritional carrying capacity for white-tailed deer, and breeding birds in the Lower Coastal Plain of Mississippi. Treatments combined mechanical site preparation (MSP), chemical site preparation (CSP), and herbaceous weed control (HWC) designed to represent a range of operational intensities. Chemical SP provided greater long-term control of woody competition than MSP, but did not provide significant pine growth advantage. Vegetation richness, diversity, and structure were best maintained with MSP and year 1 banded HWC. Canopy cover appears to be shading out herbaceous understory and altering composition of woody understory toward more shade-tolerant species. Total forage biomass and 3 levels of carrying capacity declined on average 54% each year. Avian metrics decreased as treatment intensity increased. Regionally important species were influenced positively by greater vegetation coverage attained by banded HWC.
|Commitee:||Ezell, Andrew, Jones, Jeanne|
|School:||Mississippi State University|
|Department:||Wildlife and Fisheries|
|School Location:||United States -- Mississippi|
|Source:||MAI 49/05M, Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Wildlife Management, Ecology, Forestry|
|Keywords:||Canopy closure, Diversity, Intensive management, Pine plantation, Species richness, Vegetation community|
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