Soil properties and growth of swamp white oak and pin oak on bedded soils in the lower Missouri River floodplain
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Forest Ecology and Management 204:315-327
Restoring bottomland hardwood ecosystems is of great interest along the lower Missouri River and within the Mississippi Alluvial Valley. However, bottomland hardwood plantings commonly have a high failure rate. Among reasons cited for failures are frequent flooding and poorly drained site conditions. Soil bedding is a commonly used site preparation method shown to increase the survival and growth of both conifer and hardwood seedlings. However, soil bedding has not always proven beneficial to seedling survival or growth and there are few published evaluations of the effects of bedding on bottomland hardwood seedlings. Objectives of this study were to evaluate the effects of bedding on soil properties and on the early survival and growth of different stock types of pin oak and swamp white oak seedlings in the lower Missouri River floodplain. Soil bedding had a minor effect on soil texture, organic carbon, cation exchange capacity, base cations, and pH. Bedding reduced soil bulk density by 7-16%, reduced gravimetric soil water content by 2-5%, and increased soil temperature by 1-2 ºC. When grown with a cover crop of redtop grass, foliar N of trees in bedded soil was about 10% greater than that of trees in soil that was not bedded. There were no differences in survival, diameter growth, or height growth between seedlings grown on bedded and nonbedded soils. Despite beneficial changes to soils caused by bedding, it does not appear to enhance the survival or early growth of planted pin oak and swamp white oak seedlings on our study areas in the Missouri River floodplain.
KeywordsSoil bedding Seedling survival Seedling growth Bottomlands Quercus palustris Quercus bicolor
Kabrick, John M.; Dey, Daniel C.; Van Sambeek, J. W.; Wallendorf, Michael; Gold, Michael A. 2005. Soil properties and growth of swamp white oak and pin oak on bedded soils in the lower Missouri River floodplain. Forest Ecology and Management 204:315-327