Root disease and other unforeseen variables that confound restoration efforts
Unanticipated disease problems thwarting restoration efforts can emerge in forest ecosystems. An example is the longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) ecosystem. This species once occupied nearly 30 million ha but now its range is reduced to approximately 1.5 million ha. Restoring longleaf pine to many sites in its former range is an important goal involving several natural resource organizations. Longleaf pine has evolved with frequent fires and is dependent upon fire for successful regeneration and for maintenance of stand health. However, increased mortality associated with prescribed fire has been observed in certain 30-40 year-old longleaf pine stands. Preliminary studies show several species of root infecting fungi (Leptographium species, Heterobasidion annosum) and certain root colonizing insects are associated with mortality, although longleaf pine is considered highly tolerant to these pathogens. We hypothesize many sites no longer possess specific edaphic and environmental conditions under which the species evolved because of altered fire regimes, changes in soil conditions, or other factors that render trees susceptible to root pathogens.
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.