Title:  Variability in hard mast production in the Arkansas Ozarks.
Author(s): Dickson, J. G. and M. J. Rogers
Year: 1980
Abstract: Hard mast was sampled at 83 sample points in paired 55 gallon open-top barrels annually from 1959 to 1977 in the Caney Deer Enclosure in the Ozark Highlands to determine mast production and ascertain deer-habitat relationships. Annual mast yield fluctuated drastically. Total yield varied from 3 to 481 pounds per acre, and oak mast yield varied from 3 to 447 pounds per acre during the 19-year period. White oak was the most prolific producer with an average yield of 92 pounds per acre, comprising from 0 to 97% of oak mast yield. Black oak was second highest in production with an average yield of 35 pounds per acre. The main non-oak winter mast producers were flowering dogwood, grape, and blackgum. Average annual oak mast yield (pounds per acre) by forest types were: Upland hardwood - 184, Upland pine-hardwood-96, Cedar glade- 17, Streambottom hardwood- 7. Consumption of elbon rye on food plots in the enclosure was inversely related to oak mast yield. In years of plentiful mast, deer have an ample energy supply, but in poor mast production years, mast alone is insufficient to sustain deer populations over-winter.

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