Evaluation of sapling height development and intraspecific differentiation after clearcut and group selection harvests in the Missouri Ozarks

by

Guerric Good, Lance Vickers, David Larsen, Benjamin Knapp, John Kabrick

MS Garduate (GG) University of Missouri, 203 Natural Resources Building, Columbia, MO 65211; PhD Graduate (LAV), University of Missouri, 203 Natural Resources Building, Columbia, MO 65211; Professor (DRL), University of Missouri, 203 Natural Resources Building, Columbia, MO 65211; Assistant Professor (BOK), University of Missouri, 203 Natural Resources Building, Columbia, MO 65211; Research Forester (JMK), USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station, 202 Natural Resources Building, Columbia, MO 65211

Abstract – Silvicultural decisions often impact the developmental characteristics of a stand. Regeneration events instigated by silvicultural prescription can have both immediate and gradual impacts on stand development. The objective of this study is to evaluate the effects of two silvicultural regeneration methods, clearcut and group selection harvesting, on the structure and composition of stands near the end of the regeneration period. Data for this study were from the Missouri Ozark Forest Ecosystem Project (MOFEP), which encompasses 9,000 acres of Carter, Reynolds, and Shannon counties in southeastern Missouri. Data will be used to determine if the existing canopy competition surrounding group selection harvests results in a significant difference in height development and differentiation compared to clearcut regeneration among blackgum, dogwood, hickory, red oak, sassafras, and white oak saplings. Differences in total height will be examined using height development percentiles (Vickers 2015). The calculated percentiles provide a framework to determine whether there is a significant loss in productivity or desired species as a result of the existing canopy surrounding group selections. The results of these analyses will provide valuable information on the impact of silvicultural decisions between these two regeneration methods on subsequent stand development and help to ensure sustainable forest management.