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Forests 2018, 9(9), 571; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9090571

Ten-Year Responses of Underplanted Northern Red Oak to Silvicultural Treatments, Herbivore Exclusion, and Fertilization

1
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University, 715 W. State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
2
Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society, Oregon State University, 252 Richardson Hall, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 August 2018 / Revised: 11 September 2018 / Accepted: 11 September 2018 / Published: 15 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hardwood Reforestation and Restoration)
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Abstract

Establishing adequate advanced oak reproduction prior to final overstory removal is crucial for regenerating oak forests in the eastern U.S. Many management approaches exist to this end, but benefits associated with any individual technique can depend on the suite of techniques employed and the geographic location. At four mixed-hardwood upland forest sites in central and southern Indiana, we tested factorial combinations of deer fencing, controlled-release fertilization, and various silvicultural techniques (midstory removal, crown thinning, and a shelterwood establishment cut) for promoting the growth and survival of underplanted red oak seedlings. Crown thinning resulted in slow growth and low survival. Midstory removal and the shelterwood establishment cut were nearly equally effective for promoting seedling growth. Seedling survival was strongly influenced by fencing, and differences in survival between silvicultural treatments were minimal when fencing was employed. Fertilization had minimal effects overall, only increasing the probability that unfenced seedlings were in competitive positions relative to surrounding vegetation. We suggest that underplanting oak seedlings can augment natural reproduction, but the practice should be accompanied by a combination of midstory removal and fencing, at a minimum, for adequate growth and survival. View Full-Text
Keywords: Quercus rubra; oak regeneration; Central Hardwood Forest region; shelterwood; deer herbivory Quercus rubra; oak regeneration; Central Hardwood Forest region; shelterwood; deer herbivory
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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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Frank, G.S.; Rathfon, R.A.; Saunders, M.R. Ten-Year Responses of Underplanted Northern Red Oak to Silvicultural Treatments, Herbivore Exclusion, and Fertilization. Forests 2018, 9, 571.

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