Growth characteristics and allometry of Robinia pseudoacacia as a silvopastoral system component

  • Unruh Snyder L
  • Mueller J
  • Luginbuhl J
 et al. 
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Abstract

Demand for goat (Capra hircus) meat in the southeastern USA is steadily increasing as a result of preferences exhibited by ethnic com- munities. Feeding systems that include fodder trees can be developed to take advantage of the natural preference of goats for browse. Data were collected for 2 years on a 5-year old stand of Robinia pseudoacacia L. to evaluate growth characteristics for goat browse and to develop allometric relationships in a randomized com- plete block design (intra-row spacing 0.5 or 1 m and coppice height 0.25 or 0.50 m) replicated six times. Allometric equations were derived from destructive harvests of 68 trees. Main branch size was not affected by intra-row spacing when trees were coppiced at 0.25 m; however, when coppiced at 0.5 m, trees spaced at 1 m had more and larger branches (P < 0.05) than trees spaced at 0.5 m. Intra-row spacing did not influence tree herbage biomass when trees were spaced at 0.5 m whereas trees coppiced at 0.25 m and spaced at 1 m produced less woody and herbaceous biomass than trees spaced at 0.5 m (P < 0.05). A strong relationship (P < 0.0001) was found between tree herbage biomass and the number of main branches greater than 0.01 m (r2 = 0.80). The results, based on growth characteristics and tree herbage biomass production, suggest that Robinia pseudoacacia L. would be an excellent candidate as a silvopastoral component in the southeastern USA.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Black locust
  • Goat
  • Plant population
  • Prediction equation
  • Tree herbage biomass

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Authors

  • L. J. Unruh Snyder

  • J. P. Mueller

  • J. M. Luginbuhl

  • C. Brownie

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