Deer Forage Production Associated with the Practice of Site Conversion in a North Carolina Pocosin

A study was made to determine the effects of site conversion on the production of forage for deer on industrial timberlands in an eastern North Carolina pond-pine pocosin. Natural as well as site prepared regenerated stands were sampled. The diversity of species was significantly greater on regenerated sites than either of the two types of natural sites. As a result of site conversion forage production was increased reaching a maximum of 728 kilograms per hectare during the fourth growing season compared to a maximum of ]00 kilograms per hectare for the natural sites. A decline in both species diversity and forage production occurred during the fifth growing season following site preparation. When compared to un-fertilized sites, fertilization with triple super-phosphate applied during site preparation increased forage production for several years without significantly increasing species diversity. Of particular significance is the contribution of windrows to forage production during the initial years following site preparation.

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