High-intensity, stand replacement fires have been recommended to regenerate stands of Table Mountain pine (Pinus pungens Lamb.) because its seeds require mineral soil to germinate and seedlings are intolerant of shade. Recent prescribed fires have resulted in poor regeneration, even though crown fires created seedbeds with abundant insolation and thin duff. This study examined regeneration success over a range of duff depth and shading in a greenhouse. Root lengths were compared over a range of duff depths. Table Mountain Pine seeds germinated and seedlings survived on seedbeds with abundant insolation and thin duff. However, stem density was significantly higher under moderate shade and on duff up to 4 in. thick. Seedling roots were able to penetrate duff depths up to 4 in. These findings suggest that prescribed fires of sufficient intensity to eliminate shade and expose mineral soil are unnecessary to regenerate Table Mountain pine.
Mohr, Helen H.; Waldrop, Thomas A.; Shelburne, Victor B. 2002. Optimal Seedbed Requirements For Regenerating Table Mountain Pine. In: Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-48. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pg. 306-309