Silvopasture's effect on growth and development of white and black oaks in an intensively managed upland central hardwood forest
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] Silvopasture is a practice that integrates elements of forest management, pasture management and livestock husbandry in a mutually beneficial manner (Clason and Sharrow, 2000). The term reflects a melding of silviculture and pasture management. The concept of using forested areas to benefit livestock is not new. However, integrating management of timber, forage and livestock to provide mutualistic benefits (i.e. silvopasture) is a novel concept for today's land managers. Although 0.76 of 1.79 million hectares of farm woodlands are currently grazed in Missouri (Vilsack and Clark, 2009), our current knowledge of how to successfully develop a silvopasture practice within hardwood forests is limited. Therefore, the purpose of this dissertation is to enhance the understanding of the use of silvopasture practices in regulated, upland hardwood forest pastures. This research reports on the effect of a silvopasture practice on: tree quality, overstory tree growth, underplanted white oak regeneration growth, and tree crown development. In the final chapter a model is developed to express forest development over the eight years following implementation of silvopasture management. Based on the relationship between crown measurements and diameter at breast height, the model expresses crown cover as a percent of a hectare. This model is used to identify future forest manipulations necessary to sustain the desired forest conditions of a silvopasture practice.
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