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Title: Effect of complete competition control and annual fertilization on stem growth and canopy relations for a chronosequence of loblolly pine plantations in the lower coastal plain of Georgia

Author: Borders, B.E.; Will, R.E.; Marewitz, D.; Clark, Alexander; Hendrick, R.; Teskey, R.O.; Zhang, Y.;

Date: 2004

Source: Forest Ecology and Management 192: 21-37

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: Stem growth, developmental patterns and canopy relations were measured in a chronosequence of intensively managed loblolly pine stands. The study was located on two distinct sites in the lower coastal plain of Georgia, USA and contained a factorial arrangement of complete control of interspecific competition (W) and annual nitrogen fertilization (F). The W treatment increased growth rate for several years, while the F treatments led to sustained growth increases. The combination of the W and F treatments resultetl in more than 180 Mg ha-1 stem biomass production at age 15 which is more than double the production of control treatment. Stem biomass production is continuing to increase through age 15 as indicated by the current annual increment in stem biomass continuing to exceed the mean annual increment in stem biomass. The F treatment decreased wood quality by decreasing whole tree latewood specific gravity from 0.565 to 0.535 and \by lengthening the transition from juvenile to mature wood from 4 to 5 years. Increased rates of stem growth in response to cultural treatments were largely mediated by increased leaf area, with strong functional relationships between leaf area index and current annual increment. However, growth efficiency (stem production per unit of leaf area) decreased with stand age. These results indicate that nutrient amendments are necessary for sustaining high rates of stand development on relatively nutrient poor lower coastal plain soils.

Keywords: Loblolly pine, Pinus taeda, current annual increment, growth efficiency, basal area, leaf area index

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Borders, B.E.; Will, R.E.; Marewitz, D.; Clark, Alexander; Hendrick, R.; Teskey, R.O.; Zhang, Y. 2004. Effect of complete competition control and annual fertilization on stem growth and canopy relations for a chronosequence of loblolly pine plantations in the lower coastal plain of Georgia. Forest Ecology and Management 192: 21-37

 


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