Longleaf pine stand recovered after a burn

Our mission: To provide knowledge, strategies, and tools for restoring, managing, and sustaining longleaf pine ecosystems in the United States, and to foster insight about ecosystem restoration globally.

Initiated during the realignment of the Southern Research Station in 2007, RWU-4158 is a team of scientists and support personnel whose mission is to provide knowledge and strategies for restoring, managing, and sustaining longleaf pine ecosystems in the southeastern United States. Scientists in the Unit work on two overarching research problems. They design and carry out research studies that seek to solve these problems or overcome related limitations to our knowledge of longleaf pine ecosystems. The Unit's scientists work with partners to provide knowledge and technologies needed to successfully restore and manage these ecosystems which are increasingly affected by a variety of human and natural influences in times of environmental stress and cultural and climatic change. The problem areas are as follows:

  • Providing fundamental physiological knowledge needed to understand the processes that affect longleaf pine seedling production, establishment, and growth and development.
  • Providing ecological information about population and community processes that affect restoration of longleaf pine woodlands and at risk native plant species.
  • Providing practices, strategies, and models that quantify and predict the influence of management on maintaining and restoring longleaf pine ecosystems.

Our scientists work with partners and cooperators to provide knowledge and technologies needed to successfully restore and manage these ecosystems as they are increasingly affected by a variety of human and natural influences in times of environmental stress and cultural and climatic change.

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News & Events

Timing Prescribed Fire to Maximize Longleaf Pine Growth

Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) needs fire to thrive. But if seedlings burn too late in the growing season, they may not have enough energy to re-grow their scorched leaves and replenish their starch reserves before spring of the next year. “When seedlings are so short that a prescribed fire is likely to scorch all of their needles, fire should be applied between March and May,” says Mary Anne Sayer, a USDA Forest Service research plant physiologist.

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