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Acorn Yields, Characteristics, and Management Criteria of Oaks for Wildlife

P. D. Goodrum, V. H. Reid and C. E. Boyd
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 35, No. 3 (Jul., 1971), pp. 520-532
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
DOI: 10.2307/3799707
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3799707
Page Count: 13
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Acorn Yields, Characteristics, and Management Criteria of Oaks for Wildlife
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Abstract

Yields of acorns by seven species of oak (Quercus spp.), indigenous to forests of the upper coastal plain, were investigated in relation to tree characteristics and climatological variables in Louisiana and east Texas. Three species were studied from 1950 through 1967, three species from 1950 through 1955, and one species from 1950 through 1954. The amount of seed produced was related to bole diameter and size of crown, and the expected yields for six species were calculated by size-classes of boles and crowns. Radial growth was not a reliable indicator of seed yield. Some trees were inherently poor producers. Few trees below the age of 20 years produced seed. One freeze in late March during the flowering period affected seed production. There was no apparent relationship between amount of rainfall and seed production. The moisture content of acorns and the mean number of acorns required to weigh 1 pound was determined for each species. Forest dwellers, both mammalian and avian, made ready use of acorns of all species. In normal production years, the seed was usually gone from ground quadrats about the time seedfall was complete in early February, but in bumper years, some seed remained for longer periods. An estimate was made of the pounds of acorns required for five game species for a given period of time. The number of oak trees required to fulfill these needs, by species and size-classes of boles and crowns, can be determined from the expected yield tables.

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