Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




Oak (principally Quercus alba L. and Q. rubra L.) regeneration is a major problem in eastern Iowa forests and throughout the central hardwoods. To identify major site and/or species constraints on oak reproduction, 133 one-acre (0.4047 hectare) plots were established, measured, and decribed in seven of the most heavily forested counties of eastern Iowa. Clustering, discrimination, principal component, and stepwise multiple regression multivariate analyses were utilized to isolate reproductive constraints. Additionally, an integration technique to identify potential survival expectations, and a successful modelling technique (corrected for expected survival and checked by Markov chaining), were completed to better understand the differential growth and survival of the major species groups comprising these forests;The results from the analyses repeatably suggested that biological-ecological interference was the major constraint on successful oak reproduction in eastern Iowa. A scenario developed to minimize the effects of the interference constraint used shelterwood harvesting and intensive individual crop-stem treatments. The scenario was conceptually located within the interference pressures that formed and maintained the eastern Iowa forests before European settlement. Additionally, in order to more completely explain regeneration dynamics, a conceptual model of tree regeneration was developed. Also, a basic ecologically interacting unit called "fiefspace," that conceptually unifies the allelochemic, competitive, and physical components of phenotype, was developed and discussed in context of tree reproduction. The results show that management of light resources, physical space, and noncrop-tree stems can maximize oak forest regeneration.



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Kimberly Dean Coder



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360 pages