The silviculture of restoration: a historical perspective with contemporary application

  • Authors: Guldin, James M.
  • Publication Year: 2008
  • Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
  • Source: In: Deal, Robert L., tech. ed. Integrated restoration of forested ecosystems to achieve multiresource benefits: proceedings of the 2007 national silviculture workshop; 2007 May 7-10; Ketchikan, AK. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-733. Portland, OR: USDA-Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station: 23-35

Abstract


In the southern United States, the turn of the 20th century saw the high-grading of virgin pine stands that left millions of acres of forestland in desperate condition. Some of these southern pine stands now support thriving forests whose patterns and processes resemble those extant before they were cut a century ago, but others do not. The success of this recovery in the southern pinery was based upon three primary elements. First, the silvics of the species had
something to do with the success of their restoration; some of the southern pines have inherent ecological attributes that lend themselves to restoration, and others do not. Second,
the plasticity of high-graded stands under the artful hand of the silviculturists of the day was instrumental in the recovery, partly because of the trees, and partly because of the silviculturists. Finally, major advances in silvicultural science provided astounding successes, and sometimes profound malpractice, in enabling or inhibiting the recovery. A qualitative and quantitative silvicultural review of that history can help modern silviculturists achieve goals of integrated restoration for multi-resource benefits on public and private lands, both regionally and nationally. Key elements for contemporary silviculturists to consider are: 1) that restoration of process drives restoration of structure; 2) that successful restoration demands that a silviculturist balance the cognitive dissonance between economics and ecology; 3) that some tools that traditionally have been associated with intensive forestry for fiber production can help restoration prescriptions succeed at functionally meaningful ecological scale; 4) that a diversity of silvicultural practices among stands across a landscape is more robust than a uniformity of practice; and 5) that restoration will be easier in some forest types than in others regardless of the silviculturist’s efforts.

  • Citation: Guldin, James M. 2008. The silviculture of restoration: a historical perspective with contemporary application. In: Deal, Robert L., tech. ed. Integrated restoration of forested ecosystems to achieve multiresource benefits: proceedings of the 2007 national silviculture workshop; 2007 May 7-10; Ketchikan, AK. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-733. Portland, OR: USDA-Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station: 23-35
  • Keywords: restoration, silviculture, ecology, southern pines, conservation forestry
  • Posted Date: October 15, 2009
  • Modified Date: October 15, 2009
  • Print Publications Are No Longer Available

    In an ongoing effort to be fiscally responsible, the Southern Research Station (SRS) will no longer produce and distribute hard copies of our publications. Many SRS publications are available at cost via the Government Printing Office (GPO). Electronic versions of publications may be downloaded, printed, and distributed.

    Publication Notes

    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
    • Our online publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact the SRS webmaster if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • To view this article, download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.