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The longleaf pine ecosystem of the south


Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris P. Mill. [Pinaceae]) was once the most prevalent pine type in the southern US. Stands of longleaf were also habitat for a vast array of plant species. Decades of timber harvest followed by conversion to agriculture, urban development, or to other pine species, have reduced longleaf dominated areas to less than 5% of its original range. My paper discusses the habitat and history of this once vast resource, outlining its key role as an integral part of native plant communities. I also focus on the more recent recognition of the ecological importance of longleaf pine ecosystems. This appreciation, along with advances in technology and additional information, are combining to reverse the long-term trend and should help ensure that longleaf communities remain as a viable and valuable part of the South's heritage.

Issue & Pages:

Spring 2000 Pages: 54-58

Article Download:

1-1NPJ42-53.pdf (PDF document)


  • Kenneth W Outcalt


restoration, wiregrass, fire, bluestem

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