Planning for an uncertain future: Restoration to mitigate water scarcity and sustain carbon sequestration


The desired future conditions of longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) can be described by ecosystem structural characteristics as well as by the provision of ecosystem services. Although the desired structural characteristics of restored longleaf pine ecosystems have been described at length, these characteristics deserve a brief review here because ecosystem structure directly contributes to the provision of key ecosystem services and helps differentiate these forests from other land uses in the southeastern United States. Briefly, upland longleaf pine stands managed with frequent fire are characterized by low basal area, an open canopy, a sparse midstory, and a diverse uninterrupted herbaceous layer (Walker and Peet 1983; Platt 1999; Kirkman et al. 2001; McIntyre 2012). Over the long term, emphasizing the single-tree selection method of canopy harvesting will produce an uneven-aged stand structure that adds to complexity and maintains both ecosystem services and long-term economic value (Mitchell et al. 2006). Achieving this characteristic stand structure often serves as a first indicator that restoration goals are being met (Rasser 2003; McIntyre 2012).

  • Citation: Brantley, Steven T.; Vose, James M.; Wear, David N.; Band, Larry. 2018. Planning for an uncertain future: Restoration to mitigate water scarcity and sustain carbon sequestration. In: Kirkman, L. Katherine; Jack, Steven B., eds. Ecological restoration and management of longleaf pine forests. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press: 291-309. 18. p.

Requesting Print Publications

Publication requests are subject to availability. Fiscal responsibility limits the hardcopies of publications we produce and distribute. Electronic versions of publications may be downloaded, distributed and printed.

Please make any requests at

Publication Notes

  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
  • Our online 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 unusable.
  • To view this article, download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.