Title: Remanat old-growth longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) savannas and forests of the southeastern USA: Status and threats
Author: Varner, J. Moragan III; Kush, John S.
Source: Natural Areas Journal, 24(2): 141-149
Description: Old-growth savannas and forests dominated by longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) are of great conservation and research interest. Comprehensive inventories of old-growth communities, however, are lacking for most of longleaf pine's natural range. We searched the literature, interviewed regional experts, queried email discussion lists and newsletters, and made on-site inspections to compile a revised list of old-growth longleaf pine stands, their acreage and status. We found 15 old-growth longleaf pine stands covering 5095 ha in only four of the nine states in the natural range of longleaf pine. Our area estimate represents 0.004% of extant acreage and 0.00014% of the presettlement extent. Further, some community types (e.g., Piedmont, West Gulf Coastal Plain provinces) have no extant old-growth longleaf pine reference sites. Old-growth stand ownerships are diverse, with large tracts (>400 ha) in both public and private ownerships. Half of the remnants face serious management threats, most due to difficulty in managing fire in the contemporary southeastern landscape and tenuous land tenure. In light of the shrinking nature of this resource, statewide searches, restoration, and conservation should continue in earnest.
Keywords: Conservation, fire exclusion, old-growth forests, Pinus palustris, restoration
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Varner, J. Moragan, III; Kush, John S. 2004. Remanat old-growth longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) savannas and forests of the southeastern USA: Status and threats. Natural Areas Journal, 24(2): 141-149
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