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The historical ecology of fire, climate, and the decline of shortleaf pine in the Missouri OzarksAuthor(s): Richard P. Guyette; Rose-Marie Muzika; Stephen L. Voelker
Source: In: Kabrick, John M.; Dey, Daniel C.; Gwaze, David, eds. Shortleaf pine restoration and ecology in the Ozarks: proceedings of a symposium; 2006 November 7-9; Springfield, MO. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-15. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 8-18.
Publication Series: General Technical Report - Proceedings
Station: Northern Research Station
PDF: Download Publication (122.52 KB)
DescriptionWe review studies that have shown reductions in the abundance of shortleaf pine (Pinus echinata Mill.) during the last century in the Ozark Highlands. These studies indicate that pine abundance is currently 15 to 53 percent of the pine abundance levels before major logging activity and fire suppression, activities dating from the mid- to late 19th century. Evidence of pine loss comes from General Land Office notes, the presence of pine remnants, and historical documentation that described pine forests. Selective removal of pine, followed by intense hardwood competition, reduced shortleaf pine abundance in the Ozarks over the past century. In addition, very short fire intervals (< 3 years) before and after logging reduced advanced pine regeneration. More recently (1940-2006), long fire intervals caused by fire suppression have contributed to a long-term decline in pine abundance. Under continuing fire suppression, vegetation dynamic models predict a decline in abundance that will stabilize in about 200 years. Additional, more recent threats to recruitment and maintenance of shortleaf pine populations may include global warming-induced insect outbreaks.
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CitationGuyette, Richard P.; Muzika, Rose-Marie; Voelker, Stephen L. 2007. The historical ecology of fire, climate, and the decline of shortleaf pine in the Missouri Ozarks. In: Kabrick, John M.; Dey, Daniel C.; Gwaze, David, eds. Shortleaf pine restoration and ecology in the Ozarks: proceedings of a symposium; 2006 November 7-9; Springfield, MO. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-15. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 8-18.
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