Evaluation of willow oak acorn production and the effects of midstory control and flooding on underplanted willow oak seedlings in two Arkansas greentree reservoirs
Thornton, Rory Owen
AdvisorEzell, W. Andrew
CommitteeLondo, J. Andrew
Hodges, D. John
Bottomland hardwood stands managed as greentree reservoirs (GTRs) provide critical habitat for numerous wildlife species. The oak component in GTRs is of critical importance to wildlife managers since oaks produce high energy foods during the winter. However, GTR management warrants concern since it has been linked to increased mortality and insufficient regeneration of desirable species. This project evaluates willow oak acorn production and the effects of flooding and midstory control on the survival and growth of planted willow oak seedlings. Winter flooding reduced survival of seedlings inundated in early October but did not reduce survival of seedlings inundated in mid-November. Midstory control did not produce desired light levels for the future survival of underplanted seedlings. Acorn production was good for both years. Trees with DBH between 55 and 65 cm produced the majority of sound acorns. Acorn production was likely adequate to support foraging waterfowl and natural regeneration.