Source: WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY submitted to
SILVICULTURE TECHNIQUES TO SUSTAIN DIVERSITY IN YOUNG CENTRAL APPALACHIAN FORESTS.
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
TERMINATED
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
0181794
Grant No.
(N/A)
Project No.
WVA00086
Proposal No.
(N/A)
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
(N/A)
Project Start Date
May 1, 1999
Project End Date
Apr 30, 2004
Grant Year
(N/A)
Project Director
Fajvan, M. A.
Recipient Organization
WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY
PO BOX 6108
MORGANTOWN,WV 26506
Performing Department
FORESTRY
Non Technical Summary
A 1995 assessment of harvested areas throughout West Virginia revealed that about 50% of the sites had enough overstory removal to provide suitable conditions for regeneration. However, harvesting exploited economically desirable species and a subsequent 1998 survey revealed that many of these species occur in low abundance in the regeneration. This study proposes to test various pre-commercial silvicultural techniques aimed at increasing the abundance of desirable species and hence maintaining species diversity in the next forest generation.
Animal Health Component
30%
Research Effort Categories
Basic
70%
Applied
30%
Developmental
(N/A)
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
1230110200010%
1230620107090%
Goals / Objectives
1. Document the invasion strategies of red maple (Acer rubrum L.), black cherry (Prunus serotina) and oak (Quercus sp.) and yellow-poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) by comparing populations on distributed and undistributed areas. 2. Test various techniques for pre-commercial silvicultural release operations aimed at maintaining tree species diversity. 3. Evaluate treatment response by comparing diversity and survival of targeted species.
Project Methods
Use 15 years of post-thinning date to analyze changes in understory tree size, density, ingrowth and mortality. Analyze regeneration data from diameter limit, shelterwood and shelterwood burn sites, to determine impact of harvest type on regeneration composition. Compare growth rates to understory red maple on control and harvested areas. Evaluate crop-tree responses after various degrees of canopy release, by comparing diversity, growth and survival of targeted species.

Progress 05/01/99 to 04/30/04

Outputs
In 2004-05, data were analyzed to assess the effects of residual trees on regeneration development 10 years after diameter-limit harvesting. Results indicate that distance to from a residual stem was positively correlated with sapling height and basal area. However, this relationship was only significant for black cherry, red maple and black birch. Oaks were typically shorter than all other species regardless of their location to residual stems.

Impacts
Knowledge was gained to determine the effect of residual trees on growth of regeneration after diameter-limit harvesting.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period


Progress 01/01/03 to 12/31/03

Outputs
During summer 2003, all four 16" diameter-limit sites were visited and 30 residual canopy trees of oaks, poplar, and red maple were selected at each site. All tree regeneration was measured to species, diameter and height in transects radiating in four cardinal directions under each crown. In fall 2003, half of each site (5 acres) had the overstory removed in a silvicultural liberation treatment. Models are being developed to examine relationships between regeneration height and distance from residual tree stem. The overstory from the 4 shelterwood treatments was also harvested.

Impacts
Knowledge will be gained to determine the effect of residual trees on growth of regeneration after diameter-limit harvesting.

Publications

  • Brashears, M.B., Fajvan, M.A. and T.S. Schuler. 2004. An assessment of canopy stratification and tree species diversity following clearcutting in central Appalachian hardwoods. Forest Science 50(1):54-64.


Progress 01/01/02 to 12/31/02

Outputs
Precommercial treatments study: In 1993, eight, 10-acre treatment areas received diameter-limit harvests. Regeneration development was monitored for the first 5 years after harvest. During summer 2002, 9-year-old regeneration was remeasured. In addition, oak saplings were surveyed in both partial cuts and some adjacent clearcuts to establish a population from which to sample for pre-commercial treatments in 2003. Shelterwood/prescribed fire study: Four, 10-acre, shelterwood establishment cuts performed in 1993, were inventoried for final removal harvests planned in 2003.

Impacts
To document the invasion strategies, competitive interactions and survival of commercial tree species following, clearcutting, diameter-limit harvesting and shelterwood cutting.

Publications

  • Fajvan, M.A., Knipling,K.E. and B.D. Tift. 2002. Damage to Appalachian hardwoods from diameter-limit harvesting and shelterwood establishment cutting. Northern Journal of Applied Forestry 19(2):80-87.


Progress 01/01/01 to 12/31/01

Outputs
Shelterwood/Prescribed Fire Study: In 1993, four, 10 acre Appalachian hardwood stands received a shelterwood seed cut. After 6 growing seasons, black cherry, red maple and sassafras seedlings dominated the regeneration. Because regeneration composition did not reflect the pre-harvest overstory, a prescribed fire was conducted in November 1999 primarily to reduce the density of black cherry and red maple and to promote oak species. The effects of fire on herbaceous vegetation and soil nutrients are also being examined. In the summer of 1999, the 10-acre treatment blocks were divided into two, 5-acre treatments: burned and unburned. In each 5-acre block, nine, milacre sampling plots were established and all woody and herbaceous vegetation <1" dbh was counted and height recorded. An additional milacre was established to measure only tree seedlings. All plots were remeasured in the spring and summer of 2000 and summer 2001. Soil samples were collected at 3 locations, adjacent to six of the vegetation sample plots, immediately prior to and after burning and in spring and summer 2000. Litter and mineral soil samples have been analyzed for total N,P,K,Mg,Ca, and S. Mineral soil samples have been analyzed for exchangeable or available N,P,K,Mg,Ca, and S, CEC, bulk density and pH. Strip Clearcut Study: During spring/summer 2000, graduate student Ben Brashears collected stand structure and site information on 13 strip clearcuts harvested during 1974, 1984 and 1994 on the Fernow Experimental Forest in Parsons, WV. He completed the comparisons of pre- and post-harvest tree species diversity and successfully defended his thesis in Aug. 2001. Results indicated that species diversity had decreased after harvesting.

Impacts
To document the invasion strategies, competitive interactions and survival of commercial tree species following strip-clearcutting and a shelterwood/fire regime.

Publications

  • Brashears, M.B. 2001. An assessment of stand structure and species diversity following clearcutting in central Appalachian Hardwoods. Masters Thesis. West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV. 45 p.


Progress 01/01/00 to 12/31/00

Outputs
Shelterwood/Prescribed Fire Study: In 1993, four, 10 acre Appalachian hardwood stands received a shelterwood seed cut. After 6 growing seasons, black cherry, red maple and sassafras seedlings dominated the regeneration. Because regeneration composition did not reflect the pre-harvest overstory, a prescribed fire was conducted in November 1999 primarily to reduce the density of black cherry and red maple and to promote oak species. The effects of fire on herbaceous vegetation and soil nutrients are also being examined. In the summer of 1999, the 10-acre treatment blocks were divided into two, 5-acre treatments: burned and unburned. In each 5-acre block, nine, milacre sampling plots were established and all woody and herbaceous vegetation <1" dbh was counted and height recorded. An additional milacre was established to measure only tree seedlings. All plots were remeasured in the spring and summer of 2000. Soil samples were collected at 3 locations, adjacent to six of the vegetation sample plots, immediately prior to and after burning and in spring and summer 2000. Litter and mineral soil samples are being analyzed for total N.P,K,Mg,Ca, and S. Mineral soil samples are also analyzed for exchangeable or available N.P,K,Mg,Ca, and S, CEC, % BS, bulk density and pH. Vegetation data will be collected again in summer 2001, two growing seasons post-burning. Strip Clearcut Study: During spring/summer 2000, graduate student Ben Brashears collected stand structure and site information on 13 strip clearcuts harvested during 1974, 1984 and 1994 on the Fernow Experimental Forest in Parsons, WV. Multivariate statistical analyses and regression analyses are currently being used to compare pre- and post-harvest stand structures, and tree species diversity indices based on site characteristics and stand age.

Impacts
To document the invasion strategies, competitive interactions and survival of commercial tree species following strip-clearcutting and a shelterwood/fire regime.

Publications

  • Graves, A.T., Fajvan, M.A. and G.W. Miller. 2000. The effects of thinning intensity on snag and cavity tree abundance in an Appalachian hardwood stand. to Can. J. For. Res.30:1214-1220.
  • Fajvan, M.A. 2000. Effects of harvesting practices on the sustainability of non-industrial private forests. In : Proceedings of the Forest Fragmentation 2000 Conference. Sustaining private forests in the 21st century. September 17-20, 2000, Annapolis MD. pp. 114-115. 2000. Sampson Group, Inc., Alexandria VA.


Progress 01/01/99 to 12/31/99

Outputs
In 1993, four, 10-acre shelterwood seed cuts were conducted on the West Virginia University Forest to create environmental conditions favorable to oak regeneration. Residual basal areas averaged about 70 square feet/acre and subcanopy trees were removed. Even though the harvests coincided with a good acorn crop, and abundant post-harvest oak regeneration, five years after harvest oak seedlings were overtopped by black cherry and red maple seedlings and sprouts. In summer 1999, herbaceous and woody ground vegetation was surveyed. In November 1999, prescribed fire was used to kill fire sensitive species and favor oak sprouting. Soil samples were collected prior to burning and for four-weeks post-burning. Chemical analyses of soil nutrients is in progress. Vegetation will be monitored during the 2000 and 2001 growing seasons.

Impacts
The project examines the use of prescribed fire as a management tool in controlling species composition of regeneration associated with silvicultural treatments.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period