Effects of different management regimes on survival of northern red oak underplantings in the Ridge and Valley ProvinceThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
While dominant throughout much of the eastern United States, a recent decline in oak regeneration has merited substantial research. Ultimately, successful regeneration entails the establishment of advance reproduction of sufficient size and density to provide a high probability of ascendancy to dominant or co-dominant status. Potential prescriptions for achieving this include manipulation of light infiltration and control of competing vegetation through shelterwood harvests and prescribed burning. Diameter-limit cutting is a method used on private forests which creates diverse post-harvest conditions which can favor fast-growing, shade-intolerant competition or shade-tolerant species depending on initial stand structure and diameters harvested. This study examines the effect of five management regimes on northern red oak (Quercus rubra L.) underplantings through a 2-year assessment of 1+0 bareroot seedlings. Treatments consist of: (1) control sites with no disturbance for at least 40 years; (2) a single prescribed burn; (3) repeat prescribed burns; (4) shelterwood harvests (average 25 percent residual basal area); and (5) diameter limit cuts removing merchantable trees of a minimum diameter. Each treatment is replicated on two sites within the Ridge and Valley physiographic province of West Virginia and Virginia. Transects are established on the east-northeast and south-southwest aspect of each site. Deer fences were constructed on half of all plots to test for the effect of deer herbivory. Survival after the first and second growing seasons is presented. No statistically significant differences in survival were found among management regimes in either year. Both first- and second-year results showed fencing to significantly increase survival. The fence x management regime interaction was also significant in both years. Survival on south-southwest aspects was statistically greater than on east-northeast aspects after two growing seasons