Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) restoration on gulf lower coastal plain flatwoods sites: role of shrub control and phosphorous fertilizationThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
The longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) ecosystem is one of the most threatened ecosystems in North America. Restoration of this ecosystem on flatwoods sites is difficult because of the thick shrub layer and limited nutrient availability of phosphorus (P) that can cause longleaf pine seedlings to remain in the grass stage for a number of years. We hypothesized that elimination of the shrub layer and P fertilization would likely increase the establishment success of planted longleaf pine seedlings on flatwoods sites. In order to test the hypothesis, a trial was established at the Naval Live Oaks area of the Gulf Islands National Seashore, FL with four treatments using a randomized complete block design. The treatments included: 1) Mechanical woody stem removal (M), 2) P fertilization (P), 3) M+P, and 4) Control. First and second year survival, root collar diameter, height, and stem volume index were compared among treatments using ANOVA. After two growing seasons, seedlings in the M+P treatment had slightly greater stem volume compared to seedlings in other treatments (P < 0.05). However, survival was poor for all treatments and no seedlings had emerged from the grass stage in any of the treatments.