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    A dendrochronology study was conducted in four upland yellow pine communities in Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee to determine whether the number and frequency of stand-level disturbances had changed since 1900. Increment cores of Table Mountain pine (Pinus pungens Lamb.), pitch pine (P. rigida Mill.), shortleaf pine (P. echinata Mill.), and chestnut oak (Quercus prinus L.) were obtained from the stands and analyzed for major, moderate, and minor canopy releases. Cross sections of intermediate hardwoods were collected and examined for fire scars. Historical drought and hurricane records were obtained from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. These records and the data from the cores and cross sections were analyzed for changes in the number and frequency of canopy releases, droughts, fires, and tropical storms in 2 50-year increments, pre- and post-1950. The number of canopy releases, droughts, fires, and tropical storms decreased considerably after 1950. These disturbances are less common now than they were a century ago and no longer coincide in occurrence. This change may result in dramatic repercussions for sustaining these conifer communities.

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    Brose, Patrick H.; Waldrop, Thomas A. 2006. Changes in the disturbance regime of upland yellow pine stands in the Southern Appalachian Mountains during the 20th century. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-92. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pp. 467-470

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