Advisor

Varner, Julian Morgan

Committee Member

Kush, John S.

Committee Member

Fan, Zhaofei (Joseph)

Date of Degree

1-1-2014

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access

Major

Forestry

Degree Name

Master of Science

College

College of Forest Resources

Department

Department of Forestry

Abstract

Reference ecosystems are a valuable tool for restoration and management efforts in degraded ecosystems. Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris), a pyrophytic southeastern U.S. ecosystem, have declined precipitously in extent since European settlement. Pine mortality and growth patterns were examined in a 15-year re-measurement study in two old-growth stands. Both stands experienced postire mortality and short-lived decreases in basal area. Distance to nearest neighbor had a significant effect on mortality of small (<10 cm DBH) pine. To better approximate reference conditions, saplings of five co-occurring hardwood species were destructively measured for bark accumulation and taper using bark and wood thickness. Significant species differences were detected in bark:wood ratio (P<0.001), with no difference in wood diameter. Blackjack oak (Quercus marilandica) had a bark:wood ratio 3x the closest species and steeper slopes of bark accumulation, suggesting that it is a fireapted species. These results will inform reference conditions for critical regional pine restoration efforts.

URI

https://hdl.handle.net/11668/20349

Comments

Fire ecology||Pinus palustris||Acer rubrum||Quercus marilandica||old-growth||bark thickness

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