Local and general above-stump biomass functions for loblolly pine and slash pine trees
The effect of planting density (740, 2,220, 3,700, and 4,440 trees/ha–1) on growth efficiency and biomass partitioning was examined in intensively managed stands of 4-yr-old loblolly (Pinus taeda L.) and slash pine (Pinus elliottii Engelm.) stands on the Coastal Plain of southern Georgia. The primary objective of this study was to determine whether decreased partitioning of biomass to stem relative to other tree components limits stem biomass growth on a per hectare basis as stand density increases. Fourth growing season stem biomass production did not increase proportionally with planting density, indicating that stem biomass growth was limited at the higher stand densities. For both species, growth efficiency (stem biomass growth produced during the fourth growing season per unit of leaf biomass) was significantly lower for stands planted at 740 trees/ha–1 compared to the other stand densities. Similarly, the ratio of stem biomass growth:fine root biomass was significantly lower for the 740 trees/ha-1 stand. Within sites, planting density had no effect on the ratio of fine root biomass: leaf biomass for either species. Overall, these results indicate that partitioning to stem growth increased relative to foliage or fine roots as stand density increased. Therefore, the limitation in stem biomass growth on a per hectare basis that occurred as stand density increased was not due to changes in partitioning, but probably due to a limitation in net primary production. FOR. SCI. 47(2):224–234.