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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Hawkins, Tracy S. [1], Frey, Brent [2], Boerger, Ellen [3].

Red oak regeneration in relation to masting dynamics within an oak-dominated minor stream bottom forest subject to partial-cutting.

Trees of the red oak group (Quercus spp., Section Erythrobalanus) are important canopy dominants of upland and bottomland forests of eastern temperate North America. However, regeneration of red oaks has been a widely recognized problem throughout its range. While many studies have investigated the seedling ecology of oak regeneration, fewer studies have investigated natural recruitment patterns, and even fewer studies have attempted to link seedling establishment with seed production. Oaks are characterized by significant year to year variation in seed production, a phenomenon known as masting. We suspect that seedling recruitment is affected by masting behavior, yet this relationship has rarely been evaluated. In this study we investigated patterns in seedling establishment in relation to acorn production within an oak-dominated minor stream bottom hardwood forest in central Mississippi. The study consisted of a series of replicated ~1 hectare treatment units subject to different thinning intensities. Seed traps were established under individual red oak trees across the different treatments, and acorns were collected regularly during the full period of seed fall from 1997 to 2014. Seedling plots were established around these same sample trees to assess the abundance and stature of seedling regeneration. Spatial patterns of seedling abundance in relation to mast production (total and sound acorns) are being evaluated. Information from this study should provide a greater understanding of the role of masting behavior in seedling recruitment.

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1 - USDA - Forest Service, Box 9681, Mississippi State, MS, 39762, USA
2 - Mississippi State University, Forestry, 775 Stone Blvd, Mississippi State, MS, 39762, USA
3 - Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, 200 Mero Street , Frankfort, KY , 40622

red oak acorn production

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Hall D/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2015
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PEC011
Abstract ID:1338
Candidate for Awards:None

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