Date of Graduation
Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design
Forest Resource Management
Strip thinning can reduce stand density to promote better growth of residual trees and has potential to create a woody bioenergy feedstock in addition to enhancing and maintaining early successional habitat for wildlife. However, little research has been conducted on strip thinning within young hardwood stands to determine if these are viable attributes of strip thinning. The goal of this study was to assess the first year biomass production after strip thinning among three different cut strip widths (8 ft, 12 ft, and 16 ft) in a 22-year-old mixed mesophytic hardwood stand. Woody biomass production from stump sprouts and true seedlings was measured at the end of the growing season and herbaceous vegetation biomass was monitored monthly from May through September to account for seasonal transitions. Species composition and species richness was also assessed among vegetation. Results indicated the width of the strip thinning significantly affected the amount of biomass produced from stump sprouts (p = 0.0416) and influenced the species composition among the different cut strip widths. Shade intolerant species (black cherry, yellow-poplar, and black locust) accounted for more of the biomass production within the wider cut strip widths, while shade tolerant and shade intermediate species (red maple and northern red oak) were more prominent within the 8 ft cut strips. Cut strip width did not have a significant effect on the true seedling reproduction (p = 0.1173). The herbaceous vegetation was also significantly greater within the 16 ft cut strips than in the control plots (p = 0.0464). Seasonal transitions in herbaceous vegetation was seen but the amount of biomass produced was not significantly different throughout the growing season. Presence of browse was also prominent among stump sprouts, providing evidence that strip thinning provides benefits for wildlife.
Martin, Ashlee, "First year biomass production following application of various size strip thinnings in a young hardwood stand in West Virginia." (2015). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 6166.