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Special Issue "Longleaf Pine"

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907). This special issue belongs to the section "Forest Ecophysiology and Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 28 February 2019

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Kurt Johnsen

US Forest Service, USDA, Southern Research Station, Asheville, NC 28806 USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: forest physiological research; genetic conservation; forest restoration; forest responses to climate change; forest management; longleaf pine carbon sequestration and restoration; forest responses to elevated CO2

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) ecosystems are the subject of restoration efforts in the Southeastern region of the United States. Close to 62,000 hectares of longleaf pine were planted in 2014 alone. Longleaf pine ecosystems contain an abundance of biological diversity, both floral and faunal. Longleaf pine can withstand perturbations such as experienced in hurricane event better than the two other southern pines, loblolly Pine (Pinus taida L.) and slash pines (Pinus elliottii Engelm). Longleaf pine can live for over 400 years. This long lifespan requires it to face large variations in climate, insects and diseases. As it grows over such a long lifespan, it is worth considering if planted longleaf pine provides an avenue for carbon sequestration. In this Special Issue, we explore the potential quantity of C sequestered by longleaf pine and the biotitic and abiotic challenges that face the species.

Dr. Kurt Johnsen
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Forests is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • longleaf pine
  • carbon sequestration
  • insects
  • diseases
  • genetics
  • modeling

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Genetic Variation in Water-Use Efficiency (WUE) and Growth in Mature Longleaf Pine
Forests 2018, 9(11), 727; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9110727
Received: 29 October 2018 / Revised: 15 November 2018 / Accepted: 17 November 2018 / Published: 21 November 2018
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Abstract
The genetic and physiological quality of seedlings is a critical component for longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) restoration, because planting genetic material that is adapted to environmental stress is required for long-term restoration success. Planting trees that exhibit high water-use efficiency (WUE) [...] Read more.
The genetic and physiological quality of seedlings is a critical component for longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) restoration, because planting genetic material that is adapted to environmental stress is required for long-term restoration success. Planting trees that exhibit high water-use efficiency (WUE) is a practice that could maximize this species’ survival and growth in a changing climate. Our study evaluates genetic variation in WUE and growth, as well as WUE-growth relationships, a key step to determine potential for breeding and planting trees with high WUE. We measured carbon isotope discrimination (∆)—a proxy for WUE—in 106 longleaf pine increment cores extracted from trees belonging to nine full-sib families. Tree diameter and total tree height were also measured at ages 7, 17, 30 and 40 years. Each increment core was divided into segments corresponding to ages 7–17, 18–30 and 31–40, representing early, intermediate and mature growth of the trees. We identified significant genetic variation in DBH and WUE among families that merit further exploration for identifying trees that can potentially withstand drought stress. Mean family growth rates were not associated with mean family values for carbon isotope discrimination. Family variation in both diameter growth and WUE but no relationship between family values for these traits, suggests it is possible to improve longleaf pines in both diameter growth and WUE through appropriate breeding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Longleaf Pine)
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Open AccessArticle Belowground Carbohydrate Reserves of Mature Southern Pines Reflect Seedling Strategy to Evolutionary History of Disturbance
Forests 2018, 9(10), 653; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9100653
Received: 5 September 2018 / Revised: 9 October 2018 / Accepted: 16 October 2018 / Published: 19 October 2018
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Abstract
Carbohydrate reserves provide advantages for mature trees experiencing frequent disturbances; however, it is unclear if selective pressures operate on this characteristic at the seedling or mature life history stage. We hypothesized that natural selection has favored carbohydrate reserves in species that have an [...] Read more.
Carbohydrate reserves provide advantages for mature trees experiencing frequent disturbances; however, it is unclear if selective pressures operate on this characteristic at the seedling or mature life history stage. We hypothesized that natural selection has favored carbohydrate reserves in species that have an evolutionary history of frequent disturbance and tested this using three southern pine species that have evolved across a continuum of fire frequencies. Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) roots exhibited higher maximum starch concentrations than slash (P. elliottii) and loblolly (P. taeda), which were similar. Longleaf also relied on starch reserves in roots more than slash or loblolly, depleting 64, 41, and 23 mg g−1 of starch, respectively, between seasonal maximum and minimum, which represented 52%, 45%, and 26% of reserves, respectively. Starch reserves in stems did not differ among species or exhibit temporal dynamics. Our results suggest that an evolutionary history of disturbance partly explains patterns of carbohydrate reserves observed in southern pines. However, similarities between slash and loblolly indicate that carbohydrate reserves do not strictly follow the continuum of disturbance frequencies among southern pine, but rather reflect the different seedling strategies exhibited by longleaf compared to those shared by slash and loblolly. We propose that the increased carbohydrate reserves in mature longleaf may simply be a relic of selective pressures imposed at the juvenile stage that are maintained through development, thus allowing mature trees to be more resilient and to recover from chronic disturbances such as frequent fire. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Longleaf Pine)
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Open AccessArticle Provenance Variation in Pinus palustris Foliar δ13C
Forests 2018, 9(8), 466; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9080466
Received: 5 July 2018 / Revised: 26 July 2018 / Accepted: 31 July 2018 / Published: 1 August 2018
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Abstract
Longleaf pine forests are currently being restored in the southern U.S. To aid in the deployment of longleaf pine under current and future climate conditions, we tested the hypothesis that genetic variability in foliar carbon isotope composition (δ13C) exists in this [...] Read more.
Longleaf pine forests are currently being restored in the southern U.S. To aid in the deployment of longleaf pine under current and future climate conditions, we tested the hypothesis that genetic variability in foliar carbon isotope composition (δ13C) exists in this species. Foliar δ13C, height and diameter were measured at ages of 5 and 6 years, and needle length, specific leaf weight (SLW) and foliar N concentration were measured at an age of 6 years in 16 longleaf pine families representing a large portion of the species’ range. Families were grown in common garden tests in North Carolina and Mississippi and grouped for analysis into six provenances based on climate, soils, and discontinuities in the species’ range. No genetic by environment interactions were observed. Greater foliar δ13C was observed in trees from the provenance consisting of the Piedmont and Montane Uplands than from the provenances representing the western and eastern Gulf Coastal Plains. Foliar δ13C was not significantly correlated to height at age 6, suggesting that it may be possible to select for improved foliar δ13C without sacrificing growth. These results represent a first step in identifying potential genetic variation in leaf water use efficiency and drought tolerance of longleaf pine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Longleaf Pine)
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Open AccessArticle Fire Season, Overstory Density and Groundcover Composition Affect Understory Hardwood Sprout Demography in Longleaf Pine Woodlands
Forests 2018, 9(7), 423; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9070423
Received: 10 May 2018 / Revised: 13 June 2018 / Accepted: 13 July 2018 / Published: 14 July 2018
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Abstract
Seasonal timing of prescribed fire and alterations to the structure and composition of fuels in savannas and woodlands can release understory hardwoods, potentially resulting in a global increase of closed-canopy forest and a loss of biodiversity. We hypothesized that growing-season fire, high overstory [...] Read more.
Seasonal timing of prescribed fire and alterations to the structure and composition of fuels in savannas and woodlands can release understory hardwoods, potentially resulting in a global increase of closed-canopy forest and a loss of biodiversity. We hypothesized that growing-season fire, high overstory density, and wiregrass presence in longleaf pine woodlands would reduce the number and stature of understory hardwoods, and that because evergreen hardwoods retain live leaves, dormant-season fire would reduce performance and survival of evergreen more than deciduous hardwoods. Understory hardwood survival and height were monitored over seven years in longleaf pine woodlands in southwest Georgia with a range of overstory density, groundcover composition, and season of application of prescribed fire. Hardwood stem survival decreased with increasing overstory density, and deciduous hardwoods were more abundant in the absence of wiregrass. Contrary to expectations, evergreen hardwood growth increased following dormant-season fire. Differences in hardwood stem survival and height suggest that low fire intensity in areas with low overstory density increase the risk that hardwoods will grow out of the understory. These results indicate a need for focused research into the effects of groundcover composition on hardwood stem dynamics and emphasize that adequate overstory density is important in longleaf ecosystem management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Longleaf Pine)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Local and General Above-Ground Biomass Functions for Pinus palustris Trees
Forests 2018, 9(6), 310; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9060310
Received: 10 May 2018 / Revised: 25 May 2018 / Accepted: 30 May 2018 / Published: 1 June 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2147 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
There is an increasing interest in estimating biomass for longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.), an important tree species in the southeastern U.S. Most of the individual-tree allometric models available for the species are local, relying on stem diameter outside bark at breast [...] Read more.
There is an increasing interest in estimating biomass for longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.), an important tree species in the southeastern U.S. Most of the individual-tree allometric models available for the species are local, relying on stem diameter outside bark at breast height (DBH) and total tree height (HT), but seldom include stand-level variables such as stand age, basal area or stand density. Using the biomass dataset of 296 longleaf pine trees sampled in the southeastern U.S. by different forestry research institutions, we developed a set of local and general systems of tree biomass equations to predict total tree total above-stump biomass, bole biomass outside bark, live branch biomass and live foliage biomass. The local systems were based on DBH or DBH and HT, and the general systems included in addition to DBH and HT, stand-level variables such as age, basal area and stand density. This paper reports the first set of general allometric equations reported for longleaf pine trees. These systems of biomass equations provide tools to support managers in making management decisions for the species in a variety of ecological, silvicultural and economics applications. The systems can be applied to trees growing over a large geographical area and having a wide range of ages and stand characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Longleaf Pine)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Nursery culture treatments enhance height growth of outplanted longleaf pine seedlings

 Authors: Shi-Jean Susana Sung   USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station

Kasten Dumroese   USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station

Jeremiah R. Pinto USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station

 

Abstract: Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris, LLP) seedlings often remain in the grass stage for several years. This study tested the effect of nursery production treatments on reducing time in the grass stage for LLP. Seedlings were grown in a randomized complete block design with 4 container cavity volume x 2 copper root modifying x 3 N rate x 3 replicate. Fifteen LLP seedlings from each production treatment were outplanted to a randomly assigned row within each of the 3 blocks at the Kisatchie National Forest. Seedling field performance was monitored for six years and root system architecture was assessed in years 2 and 6.

 

Title: Influence of prescribed fire season on the physiology of foliage recovery in young Pinus palustris Mill.  

Authors: Mary Anne S. Sayer1, Michael C. Tyree2, Dylan N. Dillaway3, Shi-Jean Susana Sung1, and Eric A. Kuehler4

1U.S. Forest Service, Southern Research Station, Pineville, LA, USA

2Dept of Biology, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, PA, USA

3Unity College, Center for Natural Resources Management and Protection, Unity, ME, USA

4U.S. Forest Service, Southern Research Station, Athens, GA, USA

Abstract: Young longleaf pine experience severe scorch during prescribed fire. Between scorch and recovery, the potential exists for decreases in carbon fixation and growth. Two studies conducted in Louisiana’s Kisatchie National Forest investigated longleaf pine physiology in response to spring or fall fire. We hypothesized that after severe scorch, physiological processes linked to growth differed by fire season. Foliage recovered by one growing season after spring or fall fire. Regardless of fire season, factors contributing to foliage recovery included branch persistence and accelerated photosynthesis of residual fascicles. Starch dynamics and its role in post-scorch foliage recovery differed by fire season.    

 

Title:  Growth Response of Mature Longleaf Pine to Disturbance at the Harrison Experimental Forest

Authors: John Butnor, Kurt Johnsen, Dana Nelson

Abstract: Young southern pine plantations are very responsive to resource availability, whether from soil nutrition or access to light. When thinning is timed appropriately, trees develop desirable stem quality and their growth rates are maximized. Less is known about the response of mature trees to natural and silvicultural disturbances. Longleaf pine is a long-lived tree that is well suited to extended rotations in the Gulf Coast where natural disturbance from hurricanes periodically occur and thinning for commercial purposes or to create wildlife habitat. We explored the diameter growth of longleaf pine planted in 1961 in the years following disturbances from Hurricane Katrina (2005) and thinning (2011) in at the in Saucier, Mississippi. Winds from Hurricane Katrina destroyed 7% of the longleaf pine, damaging many more, while the thinning was variable, based on existing density. A total of 180 trees were sampled with an increment borer in April 2017 and analyzed to quantify basal area increment (BAI) of both early and late wood. Using BAI normalized to year 2005, we observed that declines of 11 and 13% in 2006-2007, followed by a recovery to 2005 levels by 2011.  One year after thinning in 2011, BAI normalized to 2005 increased 50% in 2012, followed by +34%, +8%, +16%, +54% in subsequent years 2013-2016. Clearly the loss of cohort members in 2005 served to reduce stocking levels, but crown damage and loss of foliage likely caused the growth stagnation during next five years. Conversely the thinning was followed by large increases in BAI for two years.

 

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