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Forests 2011, 2(4), 984-992; doi:10.3390/f2040984
Article

Understory Light Conditions Associated with Partial Overstory Removal and Midstory/Understory Control Applications in a Bottomland Hardwood Forest

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Received: 4 October 2011; in revised form: 5 November 2011 / Accepted: 10 November 2011 / Published: 17 November 2011
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Abstract: Changes in understory light levels following a partial overstory harvest with three retention levels, combined with midstory/understory removal of selected species were examined. Overstory retention levels were set at basal areas (ba) 16.1 (BA16), 11.6 (BA11), and 6.9 (BA6) m2 per hectare (ha). Prior to mechanical overstory removal, non-oak unmerchantable midstory/understory stems ≥ 5.1 cm were injected with an aqueous herbicide solution. Hemispherical photographs were used to calculate percent canopy closure and total understory light at 1.4 m above ground. Percent canopy closure was reduced 3, 14, 24, and 30 percent for injection only (IO), BA16, BA11, and BA6, respectfully, compared to the non-harvest control (NHC) (~95 percent canopy closure). Understory light levels for NHC, IO, BA16, BA11, and BA6 were 7–9 percent, 11–14 percent, 24–28percent, 37–46 percent, and 44–52 percent of full sunlight, respectively. Post-harvest understory light of BA16 was significantly lower than BA11 and BA6, which were similar. Understanding partial harvest impacts on canopy closure and subsequent understory light conditions will aid forest managers with regeneration harvest planning to promote oak reproduction.
Keywords: canopy closure; sunlight; solar irradiance; midstory/understory control; herbicide injection; partial overstory removal; hemispherical photography; hardwood; Quercus; oak; regeneration; bottomland canopy closure; sunlight; solar irradiance; midstory/understory control; herbicide injection; partial overstory removal; hemispherical photography; hardwood; Quercus; oak; regeneration; bottomland
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Cunningham, K.K.; Peairs, S.E.; Ezell, A.W.; Belli, K.L.; Hodges, J.D. Understory Light Conditions Associated with Partial Overstory Removal and Midstory/Understory Control Applications in a Bottomland Hardwood Forest. Forests 2011, 2, 984-992.

AMA Style

Cunningham KK, Peairs SE, Ezell AW, Belli KL, Hodges JD. Understory Light Conditions Associated with Partial Overstory Removal and Midstory/Understory Control Applications in a Bottomland Hardwood Forest. Forests. 2011; 2(4):984-992.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Cunningham, K. Kyle; Peairs, Stephen E.; Ezell, Andrew W.; Belli, Keith L.; Hodges, John D. 2011. "Understory Light Conditions Associated with Partial Overstory Removal and Midstory/Understory Control Applications in a Bottomland Hardwood Forest." Forests 2, no. 4: 984-992.


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