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2 February 2024 Compositional Outcomes of 24-year-old Silvicultural Trials in Appalachian Forests of Virginia
Robert W. Howell, David R. Carter, W. Michael Aust
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Twenty-four growing seasons after installation, five regeneration cuts and one understory control treatment were remeasured to assess long-term effects on stand composition and development in the Appalachian forest region of southwest Virginia. The six experimental treatments included understory control, group selection, high-retention shelterwood, low-retention shelterwood, leave-tree, and clearcut, plus a non-harvested control. Two-hectares of each treatment were replicated on three oak (Quercus) dominated sites in the ridge and valley physiographic province of southwestern Virginia in 1994 and 1995. Overall, results indicated the high-retention shelterwood treatment favored oak species and partially suppressed yellow poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera). Among the overstory removal treatments, the clearcut treatments accrued the greatest aboveground biomass, partially due to the greater yellow poplar component. The clearcut also contained a relatively high importance values for oak species, but the prevalence of faster growing species within the clearcut suggests that intermediate treatments, such as crop tree release, could be necessary to retain the oak component. Overall, the high-retention shelterwood represents a balance to passively control post-harvest composition to favor an oak component while accruing biomass without intermediate oak release treatments.

Robert W. Howell, David R. Carter, and W. Michael Aust "Compositional Outcomes of 24-year-old Silvicultural Trials in Appalachian Forests of Virginia," Castanea 88(2), 216-230, (2 February 2024).
Received: 24 May 2023; Accepted: 18 November 2023; Published: 2 February 2024
Appalachian forests
oak regeneration
oak silviculture
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