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International Journal of Forestry Research
Volume 2009, Article ID 572480, 6 pages
Research Article

Understory Vegetative Diversity of Post-Thinned Pine Plantations Treated with Fertilizer, Fire and Herbicide in East Texas

1Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture, Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, TX 75962-6109, USA
2Life Sciences Department, Tyler Junior College, TX 75707, USA
3Department of Biology, Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, TX 75962-6109, USA

Received 1 July 2009; Revised 12 October 2009; Accepted 9 November 2009

Academic Editor: Brian C. McCarthy

Copyright © 2009 Brian P. Oswald et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study assessed biodiversity in the understory of two pine plantations where different management tools (fertilizer, prescribed burning, and herbicide application) were utilized. During three growing seasons, species, percent cover, and number of individuals, and physical characteristics were recorded. Responses to treatment were examined based on comparison of species richness, evenness, diversity, and importance. Two years after treatment, fertilized plots showed a decline in species richness, evenness, and diversity. Prescribed burning and herbicide treatments increased species richness but decreased species evenness, resulting in no change in diversity index. Herbicide treatment reduced the importance of dominant shrubs and increased the importance of disturbance-adapted species.