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    The importance of lightning as an ignition source for the fire driven Pinus palustris ecosystem is widely recognized. Lightning also impacts this system on a smaller scale by causing individual tree mortality. The objective of this study was to determine the level of mortality due to lightning activity at the Department of Energy's Savannah River Site located in west central South Carolina. A total of eight stands at three locations containing 255 ha were surveyed and then monitored for lightning mortality. Over 1997 to 2001 period, lightning killed 1 tree/10 ha/yr. Lightning associated mortality from bark beetle attacks on adjacent trees was 1 tree/13 ha/yr. Lightning directly or indirectly kills 1 tree/5 ha/yr, in Pinus palustris stands at Savannah River Site. This is a small but continuous and significant disturbance process that kills the larger trees in the stand and creates canopy openings, snags and coarse woody debris, but it is important for Longleaf pine ecosystem's diversity. An analysis of dispersions with the latitude and longitude dates in UTM demonstrated that the occurrences of light were not random.

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    Outcalt, Kenneth W.; de Lima, Jorge Paladino Corrêa; de Mello Filho, Jose Américo. 2002. Mortalidade em florestas de Pinus palustris causada por tempestade de raios. Floresta e Ambiente, Vol. 9, No. 1, p. 181-185


    Pinus palustris, lightning strikes, south of USA

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