Formulating an Expanding-Gap Regeneration System for Quercus Dominated

Formulating an Expanding-Gap Regeneration System for Quercus Dominated

Formulating an Expanding-Gap Regeneration System for Quercus Dominated Stands John M. Lhotka Department of Forestry University of Kentucky [email protected] John M. Lhotka (University of Kentucky) Presentation Outline What is an irregular shelterwood system? Rational for applying an irregular shelterwood system in

Quercus stands Proof of concept study and future exploration John M. Lhotka (University of Kentucky) Historical Context John M. Lhotka (University of Kentucky) Historical Context John M. Lhotka (University of Kentucky) Irregular Shelterwood System Defined

Three general classifications: Expanding-gap irregular shelterwood Continuous cover irregular shelterwood Extended irregular shelterwood Raymond, P., S. Bedard, V. Roy, C. Larouche, and S. Tremblay. 2009. The irregular shelterwood system: Review, classification, and potential application to forests affected by partial disturbances. Journal of Forestry 107(8):405-413. John M. Lhotka (University of Kentucky) Irregular Shelterwood System Defined Expanding-gap irregular shelterwood Aims to regenerate new cohorts in groups that are

gradually enlarged until the stand is totally removed Raymond, P., S. Bedard, V. Roy, C. Larouche, and S. Tremblay. 2009. The irregular shelterwood system: Review, classification, and potential application to forests affected by partial disturbances. Journal of Forestry 107(8):405-413. John M. Lhotka (University of Kentucky) Irregular Shelterwoods and Quercus Forests Femelschlag systems are used throughout Europe While interest is gaining, no examples of expanding-gap irregular shelterwoods exist in North American oak forests Potential benefits of expanding-gap systems include: 1. 2.

3. Structural complexity and continuous forest cover Multiple income flows over rotation Regeneration of diverse species groups, from shade intolerants in gap centers to intermediates and shade tolerants along gap edges John M. Lhotka (University of Kentucky) Research Goal Our long-term goal is to develop an expanding-gap based silvicultural practices that address the oak regeneration problem present within the Central Hardwood Forest Region

(CHFR) John M. Lhotka (University of Kentucky) Research Needed for System Development Source: Troup 1928 John M. Lhotka (University of Kentucky) Research Needed for System Development Developing a expanding-gap regeneration system requires understanding of how the following factors influence spatial variation in resource gradients and regeneration dynamics: Gap size

Edge effects Canopy structure in the forest matrix John M. Lhotka (University of Kentucky) Research Needed for System Development Developing a expanding-gap regeneration system requires understanding of how the following factors influence spatial variation in resource gradients and regeneration dynamics: Gap size Edge effects Canopy structure in the forest matrix This presentation integrates results from complementary research studies that together support the basis for applying

expanding-gap regeneration systems in oak dominated stands John M. Lhotka (University of Kentucky) Research Studies Gap Size Lhotka (In Press) tested the effect of three gap sizes on oak recruitment 48 years following treatment Edge Effects Lhotka and Stringer (In Review) characterized the relationship between distance from anthropogenically created edge and the height and density of oak reproduction

Midstory Removal Parrott et al. (In Press) evaluated the effect of midstory removal on understory light availability and oak seedling survival and growth after 7 growing seasons John M. Lhotka (University of Kentucky) Robinson Forest Gap Size Study Established 1960 Three gap sizes: 50, 150, 250 ft 27 experimental plots John M. Lhotka (University of Kentucky)

Robinson Forest Gap Size Study Hill and Muller (UK): 1981, 1985, 1987 USDA Forest Service: 1991 Lhotka: 2008 *Thanks to Matt Strong Plot 10: 150 ft Opening Plot 10: 150 ft Opening Age 23 (1983) John M. Lhotka (University of Kentucky)

Age 48 (2008) Robinson Forest Gap Size Study - Results Stand Structure after 48 Years Opening Size BA Trees QMD Top Height (m2 ha-1)

(ha-1) (cm) (m) 50 12.2a* 1008.2a 12.2a

19.8a 150 250 21.1b 21.6b 953.7a 719.1a 17.0b 19.7c

26.6b 28.6b *Means with similar letters are not statistically different ( = 0.05) John M. Lhotka (University of Kentucky) Robinson Forest Gap Size Study - Results Overstory Trees ha-1 by Treatment following 48 Years Species Group Opening Size 50 ft

150 ft 250 ft Oak 27.4a* 89.3b 49.5b Maple

82.2a 51.4a 52.4a 0a 39.3b 50.4b Hickory

12.1a 4.7a 2.9a Other Commercial 6.1a 2.7a 4.9a

Other 9.1a 5.4a 3.4a Yellow-poplar *Means within a species group that have similar letters are not statistically different ( = 0.05)

John M. Lhotka (University of Kentucky) Robinson Forest Gap Size Study - Results Overstory Trees ha-1 by Treatment following 48 Years Species Group Opening Size 50 ft 150 ft 250 ft Oak

27.4a* 89.3b 49.5b Maple 82.2a 51.4a 52.4a

0a 39.3b 50.4b Hickory 12.1a 4.7a 2.9a

Other Commercial 6.1a 2.7a 4.9a Other 9.1a 5.4a

3.4a Yellow-poplar *Means within a species group that have similar letters are not statistically different ( = 0.05) John M. Lhotka (University of Kentucky) Robinson Forest Gap Size Study - Summary Size of opening influenced structure and composition and apparent trends suggest: 50 ft opening favored maple

Dominant and codominant oak density was maximized in 150 ft opening Yellow-poplar increased with larger opening sizes John M. Lhotka (University of Kentucky) Gap Size Study : Role of Light in Species Trends John M. Lhotka (University of Kentucky) Berea Forest Edge Effects Study Initiated by Lhotka and Stringer in 2011 Goal was to further understanding of how forest edge influences the development of advance reproduction along

the gradient extending from a regeneration opening into adjacent, intact forest areas 48 m transects surround to 9-year-old clearcuts on Berea College Forest John M. Lhotka (University of Kentucky) Berea Forest Edge Effects Study Seedling Heights John M. Lhotka (University of Kentucky) Berea Forest Edge Effects Study Seedling Density John M. Lhotka (University of Kentucky)

Edge Environment: Seedling Radial Growth Lhotka and Stringer (2013) John M. Lhotka (University of Kentucky) Berea Forest Edge Effects Study - Summary Data indicate that environments associated with forest edges can increase the size and density of oak reproduction and that the edge influence may extend up to 20 m John M. Lhotka (University of Kentucky)

Berea Midstory Removal Study Initiated by Dillaway and Stinger (2004) 4 sites, Berea College Forest Midstory removal treatment (20% basal area reduction) Natural advance reproduction and underplanted seedlings Monitored 7 years Understory microclimate characterized John M. Lhotka (University of Kentucky)

Berea Midstory Removal Study - Results Midstory removal increased understory light availability Removal 10.3% full sunlight Control 1.5% full sunlight John M. Lhotka (University of Kentucky) Berea Midstory Removal Study Results Seven-year natural and underplanted seedling responses to midstory removal (Parrott et al. In Press) Natural Reproduction Black Oak White Oak Red Maple Survival (%) Control

Midstory Treatment Underplanted Black Oak White Oak ----- 70.4* 85.9* 80.6* 87.9*

15.7* 45.8* 46.0* 78.3* Mean height (cm) Control Midstory removal 52.3 77.1 28.9 *

45.3 * 41.6 * 69.8 * 37.4 51.4 31.0 * 46.3 * Mean GLD (mm) Control Midstory removal

8.5 13.0 4.7 * 7.8 * 6.5 * 10.1 * 7.0 * 9.9 * 7.4 *

9.1 * John M. Lhotka (University of Kentucky) Developing a expanding-gap regeneration system Understanding factors that influence spatial variation in resource gradients and regeneration dynamics: Gap size Edge effects Canopy structure in the forest matrix John M. Lhotka (University of Kentucky)

An Expanding-Gap Approach for Oak What about gap size? John M. Lhotka (University of Kentucky) An Expanding-Gap Approach for Oak What about gap size? Research indicates that silvicultural gaps 1.5 to 2.5 times the dominant tree height can: 1. Improve oak recruitment within gaps 2. Create edge environments that may increase density and height of oak reproduction in the adjacent forest matrix John M. Lhotka (University of Kentucky)

What about edge effects and forest structure in matrix? Intact Stand Clearcut Schmid, I., K. Klumpp, and M. Kazda. 2005. Light distribution within forest edges in relation to forest regeneration. Journal of Forest Science 51(1):1-5. John M. Lhotka (University of Kentucky) What about edge effects and forest structure in matrix? Environmental effects of forest edges on oak may extend up to 20 m from opening

20 m John M. Lhotka (University of Kentucky) What about edge effects and forest structure in matrix? Altering vertical profile of matrix through midstory removal may further the extent of the edge influence Estimated to be 30 m John M. Lhotka (University of Kentucky) An Expanding-Gap Approach for Oak

What about edge effects and forest structure in matrix? Removal of midstory canopies around silvicultural gaps may: 1. Improve oak survival and growth in areas to be released during subsequent gap expansions 2. Extend the enhancement effect of the edge environment on oak reproduction further in the forest matrix John M. Lhotka (University of Kentucky) An Expanding-Gap Approach for Oak An expanding-gap irregular shelterwood that uses intermediate gap sizes and midstory removal as a preparatory treatment

around gaps may represent a novel silvicultural practice for increasing oak regeneration potential within the CHFR John M. Lhotka (University of Kentucky) Expanding-Gap Irregular Shelterwood for Oak Initial Gaps: 1.5 to 2.5 tree heights John M. Lhotka (University of Kentucky) Expanding-Gap Irregular Shelterwood for Oak Midstory removal as preparatory cut around gaps

John M. Lhotka (University of Kentucky) Expanding-Gap Irregular Shelterwood for Oak Subsequent gap expansion into midstory removal areas based upon oak reproduction development John M. Lhotka (University of Kentucky) Expanding-Gap Irregular Shelterwood for Oak Midstory removal following gap expansions John M. Lhotka (University of Kentucky) Berea Forest - Proof of Concept Study

Expanding-gap Study Lhotka, Stringer, Patterson 12 replicated gaps Two treatments Research foci: Establishment and growth dynamics Light transmittance modeling John M. Lhotka (University of Kentucky) Future Extensions

John M. Lhotka (University of Kentucky)

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