James S. Meadows
The objective of my research is to develop and refine environmentally sound silvicultural practices that enhance growth, development, quality, and value of both individual trees and existing hardwood stands on the major river bottoms and minor streambottoms across the southern United States. Particular emphasis is placed on understanding those factors that influence bole quality, especially the formation of epicormic branches, and how they may be related to tree health. The research approach is executed through a four-pronged framework comprised of (1) applied studies of intermediate stand silviculture designed to evaluate the effects of various types of partial cuttings (improvement cuttings, thinnings, and release cuttings) on growth, quality, and value of commercial tree species in existing hardwood stands; (2) basic studies of bole and log quality designed to describe the process of epicormic branch production in standing hardwood trees and to identify and prioritize those factors that influence this phenomenon; (3) modeling studies to develop decision rules and conceptual models to aid in the selection of the most appropriate thinning prescription to apply in any given hardwood stand; and (4) synthesis efforts to develop practical silvicultural guidelines, management tools, and management systems that optimize growth, quality, and value of existing hardwood stands. Most of the research is conducted in natural, even-aged, mixed-species stands of bottomland hardwoods, but some studies are conducted in oak plantations of various ages and in uneven-aged, mixed-species stands on loessial upland sites.
- Mississippi State University, Ph.D.