Habitat Characteristics of Forest Clearings Created by Picloram Herbicides and Clearcutting

Twenty-six habitat characteristics were quantified on untreated, clearcut, and picloram-treated plots on north-facing, south-facing, and ridgetop sites in eastern Kentucky. Twenty-one habitat characteristics differed among treatments and 13 characteristics differed among aspects. Herbicide plots were intermediate between untreated and clearcut plots in 15 characteristics. Hard and some soft mast species and browse species were adversely affected by increasing concentrations of herbicide, but snag and log abundance were increased by herbicide application. Hard mast species composition, foliage height diversity, and leaf cover were highest on untreated areas. Soft mast and browse species composition, and log, stump, and rock abundance were best on south-facing clearcuts. Snag abundance and diameter were greatest on ridgetop and south-facing plots receiveing 68 kg/ha of TORDON 10K. An application rate of 23 kg/ha of TORDON 10K on southfacing slopes provided 23 habitat characteristics which were equal to or better than untreated plots.

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