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Regeneration of pitch pine (Pinus rigida) stands inhibited by fire suppression in Albany Pine Bush Preserve, New York

  • Chang-Seok Lee
  • George R. Robinson
  • Ingrid P. Robinson
  • Hansol Lee
Original Paper
  • 27 Downloads

Abstract

The Pine Barrens in New York State are dominated by pitch pine (Pinus ridgida) and scrub oaks (Quercus ilicifolia and Q. prinoides). With fire suppression over the last 90 years or so, P. rigida regeneration has become sparse, even in areas set aside to preserve this type of vegetation. We evaluated the effects of fire and an alternative disturbance (mechanical removal of vegetation) for increasing P. rigida regeneration in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve in eastern New York State. By comparing cover, diameter and height of P. rigida, Q. ilicifolia, Q. prinoides, and Vaccinium spp. (blueberry) growing on the sites with a known fire history, we documented structural and compositional changes in the vegetation since its establishment. We also compared sites on which Quercus sprouts were controlled through mechanical removal. In the years following a disturbance, height and cover of Q. ilicifolia increased continuously and the species became increasingly competitive. Both the density of P. rigida seedlings and Vaccinium cover decreased significantly as the diameter and height of Quercus increased. Our results confirmed that the dominance by P. rigida could be attributed to periodic fires at intervals of 20–25 years. We conclude that removing Q. ilicifolia can favor P. rigida dominance on the barren without fire by releasing pine seedlings from competition.

Keywords

Fire Mechanical removal Pine barren Pinus rigida Quercus ilicifolia Quercus prinoides Regeneration Safe site 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank Dr. R. H. Waring of the Oregon State University for a critical review of an earlier draft of this paper.

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Copyright information

© Northeast Forestry University and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chang-Seok Lee
    • 1
  • George R. Robinson
    • 2
  • Ingrid P. Robinson
    • 2
  • Hansol Lee
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Bio and Environment TechnologySeoul Women’s UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.State University of New York at AlbanyAlbanyUSA
  3. 3.State University of New YorkStony BrookUSA

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