Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service
  
Treesearch

Research & Development Treesearch

 
Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Northern
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help
 

Science.gov - We Participate


USA.gov  Government Made Easy


Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.
20090-6090

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (1.6 MB)

Title: Spatial Distribution of Overstory Retention Influences Resources and Growth of Longleaf Pine Seedlings

Author: Palik, Brian; Mitchell, Robert J.; Pecot, Stephen; Battaglia, Mike; Pu, Mou;

Date: 2003

Source: Ecological Application 13(3):674-686

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Increasingly, overstory retention is being used in forests traditionally managed for single-cohort structure. One rationale for retention is that residual stand structure better resembles the complex structure of forests after natural disturbance, helping to perpetuate ecosystem fuctions dependent on that structure. The benefits of retention come at the cost of reduced survival and growth of regeneration because of competition with residual trees. We argue that inhibition of regeneration depends not only on the number and size of residual trees, but also on their spatial arrangement, which ranges from dispersed to aggregated. We use a model of competition at the scale of seedlings to hypothesize that maximum stand-level resource availability, seedling growth, and seedling survival occur with aggregate retention, rather than dispersed retention, even with constant residual basal area. We test our hypothesis with a silvicultural experiment in longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) in Georgia, USA. Replicated treatments included an uncut control, dispersed retention, small-aggregate retention, and large-aggregate retention. We measured light, soil nitrogen, soil moisture, and growth of longleaf pine seedlings across the full range of overstory conditions in each treatment. Postharvest basal areas in the cut treatments were similar. Gap light index increased from the control to large-aggregate retention, as did nitrogen availability, measured on exchange resins. Nitrogen mineralization did not differ among treatments, nor did soil moisture or temperature. Seedling biomass increment increased significantly from the control to large-aggregate retention. Survival did not differ among treatments. We argue that these results are a consequence of exponential relationships between overstory competition intensity, resource availability, and seedling growth. Given this relationship, resources and seedling growth are low across a wide range of decreasing overstory competitor abundance but increase exponentially only at very low competitor abundance. This seedling-scale model translates into maximum stand scale resource availability and seedling growth with large-aggregate retention, compared to dispersed retention, because the probability of a seedling occupying a site free of overstory competition is greater with the former. Our research shows that one can improve competitive environnments for regeneration by manipulating spatial distribution of residual trees without sacrificing the ecological benefits of overstory retention.

Keywords: dispersed vs. aggregate retention, forest regeneration, longleaf pine, overstory retention, Pinus palustris, plant competition, two-cohort stands

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
  • This publication may be available in hard copy. Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
  • Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact Sharon Hobrla, shobrla@fs.fed.us if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.

XML: View XML

Citation:


Palik, Brian; Mitchell, Robert J.; Pecot, Stephen; Battaglia, Mike; Pu, Mou 2003. Spatial Distribution of Overstory Retention Influences Resources and Growth of Longleaf Pine Seedlings. Ecological Application 13(3):674-686

 


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.