Advisor

Self, Brady

Committee Member

Renninger, Heidi

Committee Member

Ezell, Andrew

Committee Member

Schultz, Emily

Committee Member

Willis, John

Date of Degree

5-1-2019

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science

Abstract

Hurricane Katrina had a devastating impact on bottomland hardwood forests in 2005 resulting in damage to nearly 1.2 billion cubic meters of timber. Following such a natural disaster, natural regeneration is typically not a viable option because the seed source has been destroyed on site. Therefore, an economically efficient method of artificial regeneration is considered the most appropriate technique for reforesting these damaged areas. However, few studies have evaluated comparative research that examined early survival and growth performance of various oak species and stock types in such planting settings. This project was implemented in an effort to expand upon what is already known from previous artificial regeneration attempts on Hurricane Katrina damaged lands. Bareroot, conventional containerized, and large potted EKOgrownTM seedlings of cherrybark oak (Quercus pagoda Raf.) and willow oak (Quercus phellos L.) were planted on two sites located in south Mississippi. Survival was assessed monthly and at the end of each growing season, whereas height and groundline diameter (GLD) were measured immediately post planting and at the end of each growing season. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Tukey-Kramer multiple comparisons procedure (MCP), where appropriate, were performed to determine any significant differences. After the first growing season, cherrybark oak did not exhibit a substantial difference regarding survival performance when compared to willow oak (75.5 percent and 76.5 percent, respectively). After two growing seasons, willow oak exhibited considerably greater survival (74.0 percent) overall when compared to cherrybark oak (70.5 percent). Bareroot seedlings had the highest survival (87.2 percent). Conventional containerized seedlings had unacceptable survival (47.5 percent) and EKOgrownTM seedlings had acceptable survival (82.0 percent). EKOgrownTM seedlings demonstrated the best overall GLD growth of all planting stocks (3.9 mm respectively). Bareroot seedlings had the second best overall GLD growth (1.5 mm) and conventional containerized had the least amount of overall GLD growth (0.8 mm). Overall height growth when comparing all three planting stocks bareroot, conventional containerized, and EKOgrownTM were similar to one another (-3.5cm, -0.8cm, and -3.6cm respectively). Therefore, based on an overall consideration of cost and performance, bareroot seedlings are considered the most effective option of the two species considered for artificial regeneration utilized in this study.

URI

https://hdl.handle.net/11668/20978

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