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item Feldhake, Charles

Submitted to: North American Agroforestry Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/1/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Feldhake, C.M. 1999. Effect of black locust on pasture microclimate. Proceedings of the Sixth Conference on Agroforestry in North America. pp. 109-112.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The conditions under which forages yield more under tree canopies than in open fields are not well understood. This study was conducted to determine how microclimate experienced by forages in central Appalachia is modified by black locust tree canopies. The effect of tree row location relative to forage growing point was evaluated for it's impact on soil water, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), red/far-red ratio, and surface soil temperature. There was no consistent spatial dependency relating tree rows to soil water levels. The level of PAR under tree canopies nearly doubled as cloud cover increased from 0 to 25%. The red/far-red ratio decreased from 1.16 to 0.2 for forages growing between tree rows compared to forage within tree rows. Surface soil temperature remained nearly constant (1.5-2oC increase) over a day under tree canopies but increased 8- 12oC at unshaded sites depending on soil water levels. Microclimate under black locust trees, while lower in PAR over all, had less extreme levels o both PAR and temperature to which plants needed to adapt. These data give insights that may contribute to our understanding of why forage productivity may be maintained or even increase as a result of pasture being shaded by black locust trees.