Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Wildlife and Fisheries Science

Major Professor

Ralph W. Dimmich

Committee Members

Michael R. Pelton, John C. Rennie


This study dealt with the production of mast by white oak (Quercus alba, L.) and northern red oak (Q. rubra, L.) on the North River watershed of the Tellico Wildlife Management Area, and the relation of mast production and wildlife utilization of acorns to forest regeneration. Mast production was highly variable between trees within a species and between the two species. Sound acorn production per acre by white oak ranged from a trace by trees 23 and 24 inches dbh to 0.04 pounds (oven dry weight) per acre by trees 11 inches dbh with a total of .17 pounds per acre produced by all diameter classes. Northern red oak production of sound acorns ranged from 0.81 pounds (oven dry weight) per acre by trees 15 and 30 inches dbh to 7.54 pounds per acre by trees 11 inches dbh. Total production of sound northern red oak acorns was 62.9 pounds per acre. Poor mast production by white oak in 1971 and a general mast failure in 1968 were attributed to temperature trends and late frosts in spring. The amount of acorns needed by wildlife on the study area was estimated to be 27.1 pounds (air dry weight) per acre for 90 days, 54.3 pounds per acre for 180 days, and 90.5 pounds per acre for 300 days. There was sufficient white oak and northern red oak mast produced in 1971 to support these wildlife populations on the study area for 90 and 180 days but not for 300 days. The European wild hog appeared to prefer coves to ridges (X2 = 7.27,* 1 df). However, movement patterns in summer and autumn, I97I were random and it was concluded that increased use of the ridges was due to an abundance of food, especially acorns, on these sites. Only 10 mature and germinated white oak acorns remained per acre in spring, 1972. However, there were 1,083 mature northern red oak acorns per acre weighing 6.19 pounds still on the ground in spring. This included 563 sound and germinated, 368 damaged and germinated, and 152 sound, non-germinated acorns.

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