Deer Forage in 13-Year-Old Commercially Thinned and Burned Loblolly Pine Plantations

White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) forage was greatly increased in 2 loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) plantations after they were control burned and commercially thinned at age 13 years. Forage averaged 26 kg/ha in August 1979 (age 12) before treatment and 326 kg/ha in August 1980 (age 13),1 growing season after treatment, and 429 kg/ha in August 1981 (age 14). Deer forage averaged 31 kg/ha in February 1981 and 52 kg/ha in February 1982, which exceeded the 4.5 kg/ha average in 12-year-old untreated plantations. A 46% decline of deer forage in 1 plantation and a 26% decline in the other plantation in May 1982 compared to May 1981 indicated that the peak in deer forage occurred in the second year after treatment. Most deer forage was forbs and vines with a small woody (browse) component.

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