Nutritional habitat quality in unmanaged southeastern forests often is limited because a dense midstory and litter layer impede growth of high-quality, shade-intolerant forage species. Management actions often are designed to improve the quantity of natural forages and to supplement natural forages with agronomic plantings. We evaluated the use of a selective herbicide, prescribed fire, and fertilizer to improve forage production for white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in naturally regenerated, mature loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) stands in north-central Mississippi, treated during 1998–1999. We compared nutritional quality and production of selected forages in treated plots (n = 4) and untreated plots (n = 4) during years 2 and 3 post-treatment. We also measured quality and production of cowpeas (Vigna unguiculata) produced in food plots (n = 4). Treatment plots produced an average of 435 kg/ha of leaf biomass and 34 kg/ha of digestible protein; untreated plots averaged 119 ka/ha of leaf biomass and 7 kg/ha of digestible protein. Cowpea food plots produced 545 kg/ha of leaf biomass and 110 kg/ha of digestible protein. Carrying-capacity estimates (deer-days/ha) increased from 7 in untreated plots to 268 in treated plots. Extrapolated over a 10-year economic planning horizon, the cost of producing digestible protein was $8/kg for treated plots and $15/kg for cowpea food plots. Vegetation treatments as described can cost-effectively produce high-quality, natural deer forages.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.