Spatial Analysis of Longleaf Pine Stand Dynamics after 60 Years of Management

Proceedings of the 16th Biennial Southern Silvicultural Research Conference, 2012

John C. Gilbert, John S. Kush, and Rebecca J. Barlow

“There are still many questions and misconceptions about the stand dynamics of naturally-regenerated longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.). Since 1948, the “Farm Forty,” a forty-acre tract located on the USDA Forest Service Escambia Experimental Forest near Brewton, Alabama, has been managed to create high quality wood products, to successfully promote natural regeneration, and to minimize management costs. Management consists of periodic inventories, prescribed fire, and harvests, which have created an uneven-aged stand structure with a range of age classes. A GIS database was created by stem-mapping all pines greater than or equal to 3.1 inches dbh (diameter at breast height). This database contains information for over 5,000 trees and provides a unique opportunity to explore longleaf pine stand dynamics spatially. The variations in densities and size classes across the tract will be evaluated to provide information about how longleaf pine grows and the dynamics of long-term management.”