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Changes in Black Cherry Seed Production: Is Stand Age a Factor?

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Northeastern Naturalist


Beginning in the early 2000s, managers and scientists observed a change in seed production and seed crop frequency for Prunus serotina (Black Cherry), an ecologically and commercially important species in the Alleghany Plateau region. This study focused on whether older Black Cherry stands are producing less seed than younger stands. We set 3 clusters of 15 seed traps in each of two ∼70-year-old (CG70 and KEF70) and two ∼110-year-old (CG110 and KEF110) Black Cherry-dominated stands (total of 45 traps per stand). We collected seeds from August through November from 2010 to 2018. We found that seed production varied by stand age interacting with year (P < 0.01), and seed production was greater (P < 0.01) in the ∼110-year-old stands (3.5 million seeds/ha [1.4 million seeds/acre]) compared with the ∼70-year-old stands (368,000 seeds/ha [149,000 seeds/ acre]) only in 2018. There were no detectable differences in mean seed production over 9 years based on location (CG vs. KEF; P = 0.27). This study found no evidence that older stands produce less seed than younger stands.


Long, Robert P.; Ristau, Todd E. 2020. Changes in Black Cherry Seed Production: Is Stand Age a Factor?. Northeastern Naturalist. 27(2): 281-.

Last updated on: October 2, 2020