Non-planted vegetation attributes and developmental patterns in loblolly pine plantations under varying cultural intensity and stand density
Clark, Zachary Seth
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Non-planted vegetation in loblolly pine plantations has the potential to alter ecosystem biomass and carbon and nitrogen pools. This study examined the effects of cultural intensity and planting density on non-planted vegetation (less than 1.37 m height) in mid and late-rotation loblolly pine stands, along with the relationships between and among loblolly pine stand attributes and non-planted vegetation. Results show that as cultural intensity increases, non-planted vegetation biomass and carbon and nitrogen contents decrease in mid-rotation loblolly pine stands in the Upper Coastal Plain/Piedmont. Planting density did not significantly affect most non-planted vegetation attributes in the Upper Coastal Plain/Piedmont or Lower Coastal Plain, however non-planted vegetation values were greater at lower and higher planting densities. There were no relationships between loblolly pine stand attributes and non-planted biomass or between non-planted woody stem density and non-planted woody biomass. Significant relationships between herbaceous groundcover and herbaceous biomass were also rare.