Shortleaf pine-bluestem habitat restoration in the Interior Highlands: Implications for stand growth and regenerationThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
National Forest managers in the Interior Highlands of Arkansas are restoring 155,000 acres of unburned shortleaf pine stands to shortleaf pine-bluestem habitat. Habitat restoration consists of longer rotations, removal of midstory hardwoods, and reintroduction of fire. A study was installed in the spring of 2000 to evaluate shortleaf pine regeneration and overstory stand growth under treatment. At this point in the study, there is no difference in milacre stocking of pines related to number of growing seasons after burning. Analysis suggests that residual basal areas below 50 ft2 per acre will be needed to develop sufficient advance growth of shortleaf pine to ensure regeneration when regeneration cutting is implemented. Over a four-year period, growth in treated and control stands is substantially less than that predicted from growth models developed in this forest type. However, there are no significant differences in growth over four years between treated stands and the control stands.