Competitive relations for soil water in an experiment of soil compaction and organic residues in a young ponderosa pine-mixed shrub community Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/gq67jv259

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  • An experiment was established in 1992 in the central Sierra Nevada Mountains of California to assess the effects of high levels of surface organic residues, severely compacted soil, and shrub competition on the development of mixed conifer plantations. This study was conducted in 1997 to determine if selected combinations of soil compaction and organic residues affect: 1) the association of available soil water with mixed shrubs adjacent to saplings of ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Dougl. Ex Laws); and, 2) the growth response of ponderosa pine saplings to neighbor vegetation of mixed shrubs. Soil moisture was determined at 15 and 75 cm below the mineral surface, and adjacent to saplings with a range of neighbor crown cover by mixed shrubs. Determinations were made on April 30, June 17, June 26, July 3, July 9, July 15, and August 5 in 1997. At both soil depths during this period, the association of available water with neighbor shrubs was significantly (p0.0001) dependent on the soil treatment. On average, available water at both soil depths was significantly (p<0.05) depleted near saplings with neighbor shrubs on the compacted soil treatments for most dates. However, on the uncompacted soil treatments, the average available water for saplings with neighbor shrubs was not significantly (p>0.05) lower than saplings without neighbor shrubs, except at 15 cm below the mineral surface covered with organic residues. Compared to saplings without neighbor shrubs, the percent change in fifth year stem volume for saplings with neighbor shrubs was -62.8 for the uncompacted without organic residues, -45.2 for the compacted without organic residues, -7.1 for the compacted with heavy amounts of organic residues, and 12.6 for the uncompacted with heavy amounts of organic residues. Both basal area and stem volume was substantially less for saplings with neighbor shrubs for soil treatments without organic residues. Sapling growth during the drought period of 1997 was significantly less (p<0.05) for all soil treatments when neighbor shrubs were present. The results suggest that the soil condition can affect the need to control unwanted vegetation in young plantations of ponderosa pine for the central Sierra Nevada region. In turn, proper management of the soil conditions during harvesting operations may alter the competitive ability of unwanted vegetation.
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