Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Changes in Woodland Use from Longleaf Pine to Loblolly Pine

Formally Refereed
Authors: Yaoqi Zhang, Indrajit Majumdar, John Schelhas
Year: 2010
Type: Scientific Journal
Station: Southern Research Station
Source: Sustainability 2:2734-2745


Abstract: There is growing evidence suggesting that the United States’ roots are not in a state of pristine nature but rather in a human-modified landscape over which Native people have since long exerted vast control and use. The longleaf pine is a typical woodland use largely shaped by fires, lightning and by Native Americans. The frequent fires, which were used to reduce fuels and protect themselves from wildfires, enhance wildlife habitats and for hunting, protect themselves from predators and enemy tribes, led to the establishment of the fire dependent and fire tolerant longleaf pine across the southern landscape. In the last 3 centuries however, the range of longleaf ecosystem has been gradually replaced first by agriculture and then by loblolly pine farming. The joint effects of agricultural expansion, intense logging of the longleaf in the late 1800s, expanded fire control since the early 20th century, and subsequent bare-root planting beginning in the 1930s, has permitted loblolly pine to become dominantly established in the south. Longleaf and loblolly pines represent two distinct woodland uses and represent separate human values. This study investigated the change from longleaf pine use to loblolly pine farming in Southern US from perspectives of human values of land and natural resources.


woodland use, Native American, industrialization, family forests, forest industry


Zhang, Yaoqi; Majumdar, Indrajit; Schelhas, John. 2010. Changes in Woodland Use from Longleaf Pine to Loblolly Pine. Sustainability 2:2734-2745.