Title:  Deer forage in pine plantations and pine-hardwood forests.
Author(s): Culter, J. D. and G. A. Hurst.
Year: 1986
Abstract: Relationships between white-tailed deer forage abundance and forest standand site conditions were studied in six loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) plantations(PP) and four mixed pinehardwood (PH) forests in the Upper Coastal Plain of east-central Mississippi. Stands ranged in age from 3-22 years for PP and 34-68 years for PH. Stands were stratified by topographic positions (hills, midslopes, and bottoms) and forage for the herbaceous (0- 1 m) and low shrub (1 - 2 m) strata. Preferred deer forage was sampled during late summer of 1981 and 1982 and late winter of 1982 and 1983 by ranked-set sampling. In summer, total forage (grasses, forbs, vines, and woody plant parts) in the 0-2 m stratum ranged from 35 (16-year-old PP) to 70 kg/ha (7- year-old-PP). Forage abundance for each season generally decreased as stand age and overstory basal area increased. Trends between forage abundance and topographic position and site index were less well defined. Stepwise multiple regression analyses were performed; of 25 stand and site variables, stand age, site index, and overstory basal area were found to be the best predictors of summer forage abundance. Transformations of these three variables accounted for 75% (~~=0.75o1f )t otal summer forage. Correlations for winter forage were too low to provide any confidence that deer forage could be predicted on the basis of forest measurements.

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