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The effect of time-since-treatment and other factors on the perceived scenic beauty of southern pine-oak forest plots
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This study investigated the effects of silvicultural treatment, season, and time-since-treatment on the perceived scenic beauty of 20 pine-oak plots on the Ouachita National Forest, Arkansas. Treatments consisted of reproduction cuts in which hardwoods were reduced to varying levels of stocking. An earlier study conducted on the same plots (Gramann & Rudis, 1994) served as a basis to study the effect of elapsed time since reproduction cutting on the publics perceptions of a plot's scenic beauty. Color slides were taken of the plots two years and six years after treatment. In 1992, Texas A&M University undergraduate students rated 320 slides of the plots for scenic beauty. The process was repeated for this study, using slides of the same scenes from year 6. Ratings were made using a ten-point scale. Raw ratings were then converted to scenic beauty estimates (SBEs). Using analysis of variance, time-since-treatment was found to be significant in the perception of scenic beauty. The mean SBE from year 2 was-3.01 while the mean from year 6 was 40.3 1. This finding is consistent with research that has found larger d diminished evidence of human manipulation to trees, increased natural complexity, an promote higher scenic-beauty values. Treatment type had a significant effect on scenic beauty. Control (untreated) plots were higher in scenic beauty than plots that had been treated. The season of the year in which a slide was taken also played a significant role in the perception of scenic beauty. All seasons were significantly different from each other. Summer garnered the highest SBEs while winter had the lowest. This is consistent with previous research which has found that forest scenes with large amounts of green are rated as higher in scenic beauty than are scenes with large counts of brown. Recovery and growth of Woody species should increase visual complexity and perceived naturalness thus increasing scenic beauty. Treatment type and time-since-treatment significantly interacted to affect perceived scenic beauty. Four years after the initial scenic-beauty study, differences in scenic-beauty scores between treatments had diminished.
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Gritter, Molly Kay (1997). The effect of time-since-treatment and other factors on the perceived scenic beauty of southern pine-oak forest plots. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from
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