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Title: Ecological restoration of an old-growth longleaf pine stand utilizing prescribed fire

Author: Varner, J. Morgan III; Kush, John S.; Meldahl, Ralph S.;

Date: 2000

Source: In: Moser, W. Keith; Moser, Cynthia E., eds. Fire and forest ecology: innovative silviculture and vegetation management. Tall Timbers Fire Ecology Conference Proceedings, No. 21. Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 216-219

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: Ecological restoration using prescribed fire has been underway for 3 years in an uncut, old-growth longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) stand located in south Alabama. The longleaf pine ecosystem requires frequent (once every 1-10 years) surface fire to prevent succesion to later several stages. Before this study began, this stand had not burned in >45 years, resulting in heavy litter accumilation (>25 centimeters), a dense hardwood mid-story, and few herbaceous spacies. Baseline data were collected prior to reintroduction of fire into the 23-hectare stand in 1995. Since hardwood stems were removed in a fuelwood operation and fire was reintroduced, litter depth and composition of herbaceous and woody species have changad significantly. Prescribed fire has been used to reduce litter layers, encourage establishment of herbaceous vegetation, diseoumge survival of hardwocd species, deter non-native species establishment and persistance, and alter residual longleaf pine stand structure. Analysis of data collected prior to the onset of restoration and 4 years later shows highly significant changes in surface soil nutrients, litter depths, and herbaceous species establishment, as well as substantial longleaf pine mortality.

Keywords: ecological restoration, longleaf pine, mortality, nutrients, old-growth, Pinus palustris, prescribed fire, south Alabama

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Varner, J. Morgan, III; Kush, John S.; Meldahl, Ralph S. 2000. Ecological restoration of an old-growth longleaf pine stand utilizing prescribed fire. In: Moser, W. Keith; Moser, Cynthia E., eds. Fire and forest ecology: innovative silviculture and vegetation management. Tall Timbers Fire Ecology Conference Proceedings, No. 21. Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 216-219

 


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