The R. R. Reynolds Research Natural Area in Southeastern Arkansas: A 56-Year Case Study in Pine-Hardwood Overstory Sustainability
The R. R. Reynolds Research Natural Area is a 32-ha pine-hardwood forest in southeastern Arkansas, U.S.A. that originated from diameter-limit cutting of the virgin forest before 1915. In 1935, these 32 ha were reserved from timber management. Between 1937 and 1993, eight inventories were taken of all living trees > g-cm DBH, using 2.5-cm DBH classes within three species groups: Pinus spp., Quercus spp., and other hardwoods. In 1994, all standing dead snags of pines and hardwoods > 9 cm-DBH were inventoried by 2.5-cm DBH classes. During 56 years, the overstory pinc-hardwood ratio remained stable in terms of relative basal area, but pine density decreased with a commensurate increase in hardwood density. In 1993, pines represented 63% of basal area but only 23% of stem density. Just before the 1993 inventory, a pine bark-beetle infestation developed on the area, and within one year the pines lost about 2.5 m2/ha in basal area and had 180% more snags than were contributed by hardwoods. The overstory pine component is decreasing in density as a result of natural senescence and the allogenic effects of bark beetles. Hardwood species are expected to eventually dominate the forest because shade-intolerant pint regeneration will not develop to maturity beneath the closed hardwood canopy which can be altered only by catastrophic natural disturbances or anthropogenic intervention.
You can order print copies of our publications through our publication ordering system. Make a note of the publication you wish to request, and visit our Publication Order Site.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact the SRS webmaster if you notice any errors which make this publication unuseable.
- To view this article, download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.