Restoration of southern ecosystems

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Restoration of the myriad communities of bottomland hardwood and wetland forests and of the diverse communities of fire-dominated pine forests is the subject of intense interest in the Southern United States. Restoration practice is relatively advanced for bottomland hardwoods and longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.), and less so for swamps and shortleaf pine (P. echinata Mill.). Most bottomland hardwood restoration is taking place on private land, while restoration of swamps and shortleaf pine occurs mostly on public land. Both public and private landowners are involved in the restoration of longleaf pine. Proper matching of species to site is critical to successful restoration of bottomland hardwoods. Techniques for longleaf pine restoration include the reintroduction of growing-season fire and the planting of longleaf pine seedlings and understory species. Safely reintroducing growing-season fire, however, may require initial manipulation of other vegetation by mechanical or chemical means to reduce built-up fuels.

  • Citation: Stanturf, John A.; Gardiner, Emile S.; Outcalt, Kenneth; Conner, William H.; Guldin, James M. 2004. Restoration of southern ecosystems. In: Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS–75. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. Chapter 13. p. 123-131.
  • Posted Date: January 1, 2000
  • Modified Date: November 13, 2020
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