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    Author(s): C.A. Gonzalez-Benecke; L.J. Samuelson; T.A. Stokes; W.P. Cropper Jr; T.A. Martin; K.H. Johnsen
    Date: 2015
    Source: Forest Ecology and Management
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Southern Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (780.0 KB)

    Description

    Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) forests are characterized by unusually high understory plant species diversity, but models describing understory ground cover biomass, and hence fuel load dynamics, are scarce for this fire-dependent ecosystem. Only coarse scale estimates, being restricted on accuracy
    and geographical extrapolation, are available. We analyzed the dynamics of ground cover biomass under different prescribed burning regimes in longleaf pine stands in the southeastern United States. We developed a set of functions to simulate ground cover biomass dynamics in stands of varying age, basal area and fire management history. The subsequent models allow for estimation of ground cover biomass for unburned stands and living woody and herbaceous ground cover biomass for burned stands. Woody ground cover was highly reduced as fire frequency increased, and also affected by stand basal area when time since last burning was longer than two years. Herbaceous ground cover was affected little by burning frequency but was reduced as basal area increased. This novel model system is a useful tool that can be incorporated into fire management and carbon balance models.

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    Citation

    Gonzalez-Benecke, C.A.; Samuelson, L.J.; Stokes, T.A.; Cropper Jr, W.P.; Martin, T.A.; Johnsen, K.H. 2015. Understory plant biomass dynamics of prescribed burned Pinus palustris stands. Forest Ecology and Management, Vol. 344: 84-94. 11 p.  10.1016/j.foreco.2015.02.018

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    Keywords

    Longleaf pine, Ground cover, Fire management, Restoration ecology, Modeling

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