Forest ThreatNet

Volume 10, Issue 3 - July/August 2016

It’s Complicated: The Relationship between Climate and Seed Production in Longleaf Pine

Longleaf_Carolina_Sandhills_NWR_JCulpepper.jpgA long-term dataset that spans 10 sites and six states revealed that longleaf pine operates on a seed production cycle that takes roughly 3 years – sometimes 4 – to complete. Eastern Threat Center research ecologist Qinfeng Guo and colleagues examined the cone production cycle in an earlier study, and recently published a new study showing that climate influences the cycle, although its effects are quite complex. The study reveals that longleaf pine trees have begun producing more cones on some sites in recent years and that the increase in cone production coincides with greater climatic variability, especially temperature fluctuations. Understanding the connections between cone production and climate will require further investigation. Read more in CompassLive...

Pictured: A longleaf pine stand in the Carolina sandhills. Photo by Jack Culpepper, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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