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    Author(s): John S. Kush; Ralph S. Meldahl; Chadwick Avery
    Date: 2004
    Source: Ecological Restoration, Vol. 22, No. 1, p. 6-10
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: View PDF  (617 KB)


    Prior to European settlement, forested savannas dominated by longleaf pine and the most diverse herbaceous layer in temperate North America blanketed an estimated 90 million acres (37 million ha) of the southeastern United States. These forests, termed savannas for their open, park-like nature, were swept by fire once every one to ten years (Mattoon 1922, Chapman 1932, Christensen 1981). Due to fire suppression, agriculture and site conversion, longleaf forests now exist on less than 3 percent of their former range (Frost 1993). A 1995 U.S. Biological Survey Report listed the longleaf pine forest as the third most endangered ecosystem in the United States (Noss and others 1995). Old-growth longleaf pine forests exist in an even more imperiled state, covering less than 9,900 acres (4,000 ha), or 0.01 percent of their former extent (Means 1995). Recent harvests of the remaining old-growth acreage make the ecological restoration of old-growth longleaf pine forests extremely urgent.

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    Kush, John S.; Meldahl, Ralph S.; Avery, Chadwick. 2004. A restoration success: Longleaf pine seedlings established in a fire-suppressed, old-growth stand. Ecological Restoration, Vol. 22, No. 1, p. 6-10

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