Guidelines for regenerating southern pine beetle spots
Southern pine forests are of exceptional commercial and ecological importance to the United States, and the southern pine beetle is their most serious insect pest. The southern pine beetle generally kills overstory pines, causing spots of tree mortality that are unpredictable in time and space and frequently disruptive to management activities and goals. The canopy gaps created may be large enough for regeneration activities to be considered, but the nature of southern pine beetle spots, and the residual stands of which they are a part, can make regeneration decisions complex. Spot size and shape, stand age, structure, silvicultural system, product markets, and management goals all are important determinants for obtaining successful regeneration of southern pine beetle spots. This paper provides a key to assist managers faced with the complexities of regenerating southern pine beetle spots in the context of the larger stand. Guidance is provided for the application of regeneration methods that are appropriate for particular management objectives, spot sizes, stands, and environmental conditions.