Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Growth and development of young Douglas-fir in relation to intra- and inter-specific competition Public Deposited

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  • This thesis explored the relationships between the growth of Douglas-fir seedlings and light and moisture resource availability as influenced by competitor type and density in the Oregon Coast Range. Twelve 360 m2 Nelder plots, encompassing a range of 300 to 15,000 cm2 per plant in 48 spokes, were established in the spring of 1978 using 2-0, bare-root, seedlings on three sites representing a cool-moist, a warm-moist, and a hot-dry environment. Irrigation was applied to two of the four plots on each site. Each plot was split into six "pie" sections. Two sections were planted with Douglas-fir alone; two sections had alternating spokes with one-year-old red alder wildlings; and two sections were planted with Douglas-fir and broadcast seeded with grass. Observations on soil moisture, plant moisture stress, light attenuation in the seedling canopy, height, diameter and volume growth, and dry matter accumulation were taken at the end of the 1979 and 1980 growing seasons. The results indicated that Douglas-fir growth was inhibited by competition with red alder and grass. Significant interactions between site and competitor type were found. Differences in soil moisture depletion and plant moisture stress were indicative of the site-competitor-density interactions. Tree growth was correlated with area per tree, reaching an upper asymptote within the range studied. Moisture did not appear to be a limiting factor for growth in the range of sites studied after first year irrigation as long as Douglas-fir had no competitors. Foliage, root, and total biomass per tree were positively correlated with space available.
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