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Forests 2016, 7(4), 86; doi:10.3390/f7040086

Even-Aged vs. Uneven-Aged Silviculture: Implications for Multifunctional Management of Southern Pine Ecosystems

1
Department of Agriculture and Environmental Science, Lincoln University, Jefferson City, MO 65101, USA
2
West Florida Research and Education Center, University of Florida, Milton, FL 32583, USA
3
Center for Agroforestry, University of Missouri, 203 Anheuser-Busch Natural Resources Building, Columbia, MO 65211, USA
4
Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 306023, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Jean-Claude Ruel and Timothy A. Martin
Received: 5 February 2016 / Revised: 26 March 2016 / Accepted: 12 April 2016 / Published: 19 April 2016
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Abstract

We evaluated even- and uneven-aged silvicultural options for slash pine (Pinus elliottii Engelm.) using empirical data and the Forest Vegetation Simulator (FVS) model. Data were collected from a mature unthinned slash pine plantation in a flatwoods site in Florida, and used to simulate six scenarios of even- and uneven-aged silvicultural regimes applied to slash pine stands, including a no-action option. These alternative silvicultural regimes were evaluated for multiple benefits including timber production, carbon storage and stand structural diversity over a period of 100 years. None of the silvicultural regimes maximized all the benefits. While even-aged management options were more efficient in total merchantable timber production (9.78 to 11.02 m3·ha−1·year−1) and overall carbon stocks (3.05 to 3.47 metric tons·ha−1·year−1), uneven-aged management options created overall more complex stand structure (Stand Structural Diversity (computed from Shannon’s Indices values) = 1.92) and maintained a steady flow of yields, particularly sawtimber (34.29 to 58.46 m3·ha−1 every 10 year) and aboveground carbon stocks (56.9 to 77.2 metric tons·ha−1). Optimal achievement of multiple benefits across the landscape, therefore, may require maintaining an assortment of management strategies. Both even- and uneven-aged management options have the potential to improve production and carbon storage of pine forests and are a substantial improvement over no action. View Full-Text
Keywords: structural diversity; carbon storage; timber production; slash pine; Forest Vegetation Simulator structural diversity; carbon storage; timber production; slash pine; Forest Vegetation Simulator
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. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Sharma, A.; Bohn, K.K.; Jose, S.; Dwivedi, P. Even-Aged vs. Uneven-Aged Silviculture: Implications for Multifunctional Management of Southern Pine Ecosystems. Forests 2016, 7, 86.

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