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    Author(s): David L. White; F. Thomas Lloyd
    Date: 1998
    Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-23. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 48 p.
    Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
    Station: Southern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (3.5 MB)


    Dry and dry-mesic oak-pine forests are widely distributed from New Jersey to Texas, but representative old-growth stands are rare. Historical accounts of composition, along with information from existing old-growth stands, were used to characterize this type. Shortleaf pine and white oak were the most widely distributed trees across all old-growth stands. Shortleaf was the primary pine species of the oak-pine type in the Piedmont, Gulf Coastal Plain, and Interior Highlands, while pitch pine was predominant in the mountainous regions. Scarlet and chestnut oaks were more prevalent in the Appalachians. Maximum age for pitch and shortleaf pines exceeded 200 and 300 years, respectively. Forests of this type do not adhere to the steady state or equilibrium concept of forest dynamics; rather old-growth oak-pine may be ephemeral on a given site. Disturbance by fire or other agents distributed through space and time is required for its maintenance on the broader landscape. Characteristics of the living and dead components of old-growth oak-pine are presented.

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    White, David L.; Lloyd, F. Thomas. 1998. An Old-Growth Definition for Dry and Dry-Mesic Oak-Pine Forests. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-23. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 48 p.


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    Disturbance, dry-mesic, fire, oak-pine, old growth, presettlement.

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