The Longleaf Pine Ecosystem pp 3-8
The Longleaf Pine Ecosystem
The longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) ecosystem once occupied an estimated 37 million hectares in the southeastern United States (Frost this volume). These forests dominated the Coastal Plain areas ranging from Virginia to Texas through central Florida, occupying a variety of sites ranging from xeric sandhills to wet poorly drained flatwoods to the montane areas in northern Alabama. The extent of the longleaf pine ecosystem has greatly declined since European settlement. At present, it occupies less than 1 million hectares, making it one of the most threatened ecosystems in the United States.Will this ecosystem always be in peril? Maybe not! The objective of this chapter is to provide an overview of the book’s content that will examine the historical, ecological, silvicultural, and restoration aspects of longleaf pine ecosystems.
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