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Project ID: 01-3-3-32

Year: 2001

Date Started: 09/21/2001

Date Completed: 05/01/2002

Title: Changes in Fire Regimes and the Successional Status of Table Mountain Pine (Pinus pungens Lamb.) in the Southern Appalachians

Project Proposal Abstract: We propose to investigate the age structure and fire history of table mountain pine stands in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and surrounding National Forests. Table mountain pine is an endemic tree species to the southern Appalachians heavily dependent on repeated surface fires for successful regeneration. Alterations during the 20th century to fire regimes in the southern Appalachians from human-caused fire exclusion may be preventing the establishment of table mountain pine, thus causing concern the species may eventually be extirpated. We will use dendrocbronological techniques to date fire scars found in the tree-ring record to assess the frequency, seasonality, and areal extent of past fires. In addition, we intend to use age structure analysis to determine the successional status of table mountain pines in relation to other associated species. The reconstruction of past fires in these stands may demonstrate that fire was a dominant natural disturbance that has helped shape and maintain the vegetation associations in table mountain pine stands for centuries. Our research is intended to provide land management agencies with critical information on the successional status of table mountain pine stands in southern Appalachian forests, information that may currently be lacking. We envision our results helping in the design and implementation of sound management guidelines for restoring fire as an ecosystem process (Task 3, JFSP RFP 2001-3). In addition, our study will provide "options for restoring and managing fire in unroaded, wilderness, and similar areas," and demonstrate that fires in the past have been "ecologically beneficial" (Task 1, .JFSP RFP 2001-1). We anticipate this information being used b land managers in the development of guidelines and policies consistent with the restoration of fire as an ecosystem process.

Principal Investigator: Henri D. Grissino-Mayer

Agency/Organization: University of Tennessee-Knoxville

Branch or Dept: Department of Geography

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Co-Principal Investigator

Michael Armbrister

University of Tennessee-Knoxville

Department of Geography

Federal Cooperator

Michael A. Jenkins

Purdue University

Forestry & Natural Resources

Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network


There are no project locations identified for this project.

Project Deliverables

Final Report view or print

("Results presented in JFSP Final Reports may not have been peer-reviewed and should be interpreted as tentative until published in a peer-reviewed source.")

  ID Type Title
view or print   993 Government Publication Changes in Fire Regimes and the Successional Status of Table Mountain Pine (Pinus pungens Lamb) in the Southern Applachians
  go to website 420 Website Interconnected web pages for web-based teaching.

Supporting Documents

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