The effects of canopy density and vegetative competition on oak seedling numbers in southeastern Ohio

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The Ohio State University

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The regeneration of oak species in the forest setting has been a current issue for foresters. Oak-hickory forests are currently the dominant cover type in most parts of the Eastern Hardwood Region, but the lack of regeneration in the understory is hinting toward a reduction in the number of oaks. The data shows the oaks are regenerating as seedlings but there are few oaks in the sapling stage. The oaks do not occur in the sapling stage as the result of the oak seedlings are succumbing to competition by other vegetation at young ages. This study focused on how canopy cover and the competing vegetation affected oak seedlings in a natural forest. The competing vegetation showed that as red maple and other hardwoods species increase in numbers and canopy area, the less oak seedlings that are present in the seedling category. Advisor: Dr. Roger Williams



Oak regeneration, Canopy, Competition, Large seedling, Sapling