Revisiting shortleaf outplantings of the Southwide Pine Seed Source Study on the Crossett Experimental ForestThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
In early 1953, eight blocks of the Southwide Pine Seed Source Study (SPSSS) featuring two geographically based series of shortleaf pine (Pinus echinata) were planted in Compartment 46 of the Crossett Experimental Forest (CEF). These shortleaf pines originated from Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas seed sources. Their survival, fusiform rust (Cronartium quercuum f. sp. fusiforme) resistance, and height growth performance were tracked closely until the late 1960s, when the original effort to monitor these blocks for the SPSSS was discontinued. Remeasured into the 1980s, these outplantings were largely forgotten until recently, when interest in shortleaf pine reemerged. Although some unplanned harvests and other losses have occurred, enough surviving SPSSS shortleaf pines remained in the latter half of 2018 to reassess their diameters, heights, and derived merchantable volumes. After 65 years in the ground, some significant differences in height, diameter at breast height, and volume by seed source have persisted. In addition to assessing these shortleaf pines for long-term, seed source-based success, the remaining outplantings also present opportunities to further investigate species-based DNA markers useful for describing the genetic variation of this declining yet still important southern pine species. Better documentation of the growth performance and genetic attributes should also help silviculturists hone their strategies for the restoration of shortleaf pine.