Shortleaf Pine woodland with Post Oak (Quercus stellata) and Blackjack Oak (Quercus marilandica), Durham Co., NC
|Range Map for Pinus echinata;|
Although the preceeding map shows shortleaf ranging into the outer coastal plain there is general consensus that most of this area was historically dominated by other vegetation, especially longleaf pine woodlands and savannas. However, in the Piedmont there are intriguing "remnants" of shortleaf woodlands or savannas which share structural and compositional similarities with longleaf pine communities.
|Open Shortleaf Pine with herbaceous|
understory including Indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans)
|Open Shortleaf "savanna"|
another view of well burned patch in Durham Co, NC
In the stand above, the nearly closed canopy from abundant oaks, especially Southern Red Oak (Quercus falcata), allows only patchy sunlight to reach the forest floor. Although fuel conditions were quite dry, the lack of sunlight penetration and wind movement underneath the trees and relative humidity in the high 30's fostered slow moving low flames and incomplete ground coverage.
|May 2014 Prescribed Fire in Shortleaf Pine - Oak Forest. Poverty Oat Grass (Danthonia spicata) is abundant and flowering in the left side of this view. Patches of live green vegetation contributed to patchy coverage of this growing season burn.|
|Shortleaf Pine sapling on site burned ~ biennially for 10 years.|
The small needles provide less surface for ice damage
than loblolly pine (Pinus taeda),
possibly explaining its more northerly distribution.