Date of Award
Master of Science
Wildlife and Fisheries Science
Ralph W. Dimmick
Michael R. Pelton, Boyd L. Deaton
This thesis represents the latter two years of a six year study of food plantings for wildlife in young pine plantations in Eastern Tennessee. Wildlife food plantings were established on the Stinging Fork study areas in the spring of 1972, and on the Cumberland County study areas in the spring of 1975. Initial establishment of food plantings included soybeans (Glycine max), Korean lespedeza (Lespedeza stipulacea), Kobe lespedeza (Lespedeza striata), bicolor lespedeza (Lespedeza bicolor), red clover (Trifolium pratense), white Dutch clover (Trifolium repens) and autumn olive (Elaeagnus umbellata). Bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus) densities on the Stinging Fork study areas were consistently higher on the experimental area than the control. Experimental areas in Cumberland County also had higher quail densities than did the control area. These differences in den-sities were assumed to be the result of the presence of food plantings on the experimental area since this was the only habitat manipulation not common to all areas. However, habitat quality of the Cumberland County control and surrounding area may have been inferior to that of the three experimental areas. The average cost per hectare per year for the food plantings on the Stinging Fork study area over the 5 year period of this study was $2.11. The average cost per hectare per year on the Cumberland County study areas when projected over the 6 year period in which they are thought to be of benefit to quail is $0.66. The reduced cost for the Cumberland County areas reflects the fact that only perennial food plantings were used and no maintenance or replanting was provided after initial establishment. The average cost per bird attributed to food plantings was $5.82 on the Stinging Fork study area; on the Cumberland County areas it was $3.68 for Dugger Branch, $8.21 for Laurel Creek, and $3.68 for Taylor Chapel. Utilization of food plantings was determined by examination of crop content. Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana), (48% relative volume) was the most important food item consumed on the Cumberland County areas in 1976-1977. Bicolor lespedeza (49% relative volume) was the most important food item in 1977-1978. Populations of cottontail rabbit (Sylvilagus floridanus) and nongame birds appeared to be more related to vegetative structure than to the presence or absence of food plantings.
Coppinger, Thomas H., "An evaluation of food plantings for wildlife on pine plantations in Tennessee. " Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee, 1981.