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History of Piedmont Forests: Implications For Current Pine ManagementAuthor(s): D.H. Van Lear; R.A. Harper; P.R. Kapeluck; W.D. Carroll
Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS–71. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pp. 127-131
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
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DescriptionPiedmont forests were maintained for millennia in an open condition by anthropogenic- and lightning-ignited fires. After European settlement, row-crop agriculture caused serious soil erosion, making Piedmont soils less capable of supplying moisture and nutrients during drought periods. Dense stands of pine, both naturally and artificially regenerated over the past 70 years, are severely stressed on these soils and become highly susceptible to infestations of the southern pine beetle (SBP). The current SPB epidemic and depressed smallwood markets serve as a disincentive to invest in expensive reforestation. Prescribed burning, or herbicide applications where burning is not feasible, along with thinnings and timely harvests, should be used to maintain relatively open stands and encourage herbaceous vegetation. A Piedmont forest landscape consisting of a shifting mosaic of low-density pine stands in all seral stages, intermixed with hardwood and pine-hardwood stands, should reduce the intensity of SPB attacks and provide many commodity and noncommodity values desired by landowners and society.
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CitationVan Lear, D.H.; Harper, R.A.; Kapeluck, P.R.; Carroll, W.D. 2004. History of Piedmont Forests: Implications For Current Pine Management. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS–71. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pp. 127-131
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