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Forage production and nutrient concentrations in thinned loblolly pine pinus taeda plantations



Forage production and nutrient concentrations in thinned loblolly pine pinus taeda plantations



Journal of Wildlife Management 46(3): 719-727



Relationships between forage production and overstory structural characteristics were studied in 20-35 yr old old-field loblolly pine (P. taeda) plantations in the Virginia Piedmont [USA]. Forage production was predicted as a function of overstory basal area, overstory canopy cover and slope position (R2 = 0.75). Forage production in the 0-2 m stratum ranged from 154-1690 kg/ha, being highest in open-canopied, moist sites and lowest in closed-canopied, dry sites. Crude protein concentrations, caloric values and digestibilities of forage plants were not apparently related to overstory or site characteristics. Total production of energy and protein for white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) forage species were strongly associated with total forage production. Digestible energy production ranged from 449-2753 kcal/ha, and crude protein production from 24.6-142.4 kg/ha. The potential of loblolly pine plantations to provide the nutritional needs of wildlife species is highly variable and is strongly influenced by thinning.

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Accession: 005477203

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