Oak Plantings and Natural Invasion of Tree Species Onto Former Agricultural Fields in the Lower Mississippi River Valley
Greater than 80 percent of the bottomland hardwood forests of the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley (LMAV) have been lost to conversion over the past 100 years. Of the forests that remain, most are highly fragmented and degraded. Attempts to reforest some of this area over the past 15-20 years have highlighted the need for more information on the relative success of various planting techniques. Controversies still clouds the merits of direct seeding versus planting bare rootstock, and information on broadcast seeding is also lacking. Very little information exists on natural invasion dynamics that are often expected to provide additional tree species and increase diversity. To test a variety of planting methods, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and the Louisiana State University initiated a study during the fall of 1993. Researchers from the Louisiana State University and the U.S. Geological Survey sampled the plots six years later, during the fall of 1999. This poster presented an overall summary of the study. Two additional papers on the study are included in these proceedings and several other manuscripts are planned for future publica- tion.