Growth and structure of three adjacent 22 year-old Douglas-fir stands in the Oregon Coast Range Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/6w924d745

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  • In the Oregon Coast Range, total biomass and biomass increment, leaf area, the relationship between leaf area and sapwood area, and patterns of growth and form of individual trees, were studied in 40 Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesfi (Mirb.) Franco) trees from three adjacent 22 year-old plantations that had developed at different rates. The estimated total aboveground biomass in the three stands, designated as (1) "slow", (2) "medium", and (3) "fast", were 98.7, 148.2, and 203.7 t.ha-1, respectively, significantly different at the 95 percent level. Total belowground biomass was significantly higher for "fast" with 52.5 t.ha-1 versus 42.0 and 34.4 t.ha-1 for "medium" and "slow" stands. Total aboveground biomass increment was similar for "medium" and "fast" (12.6 and 12.3 t.ha-1yr-1) and was lower for "slow" (8.9 t.ha-1yr-1). Leaf area was significantly greater in "fast" than either of the other two stands. Sapwood area decreased with increasing height in the tree, with stands differing significantly only at breast height (bh). Leaf area to sapwood area ratios varied throughout the stem and were significantly higher for "fast"; the ratio was much lower at bh than at the base of the live crown. Diameter at bh (dbh) and sapwood at the crown base are both strong predictors of crown biomass components. For stem weight the addition of height to dbh reduced bias and increased the precision of estimates. Leaf area was as closely related to dbh as to bh sapwood area. Taking into account mean annual ring width in the sapwood did not improve the leaf area to sapwood area relationship. The results of the stem analysis indicated that growth differences among the stands appeared at a very early age. Differences among the stands in biomass, leaf area, and growth rate, which stem analysis shows to have appeared by at least age seven, may be related to differing soil characteristics. "Slow" soils are lower in nitrogen and phosphorous, and are waterlogged for part of the wet season. "Fast" and "medium" soils are similar to one another, except for a coarse textured C layer at shallower depth in "fast", which may have permitted more rapid root development and better access to water during dry periods.
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