Using Botanical Analysis to Shape a Longleaf Restoration Project

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Title: Using Botanical Analysis to Shape a Longleaf Restoration Project
Author: Parker, Douglas S.
Advisors: Gary Blank, Chair
Thomas Wentworth, Member
James Svara, Member
Abstract: This thesis focuses on the rare and endangered Piedmont TransitionalLongleaf Pine Community (PTLC) found on the Harris Research Tract (HRT)located in southern Wake County, North Carolina. The goal of this thesis is to laya foundation of knowledge to guide the restoration and preservation of the PTLC. This guidance is via three different papers with three different perspectives(current, historical, and social). The current condition and range of the PTLC is assessed and verifiedthrough the use of the North Carolina Vegetation Survey (NCVS). During thesummer of 1997, 56 plots 20m X 50m were intensively surveyed. The data wereanalyzed using cluster analysis, detrended correspondence analysis, canonicalcorrespondence analysis, and non-metric multidimensional scaling. The 1222 acreHRT was subsequently divided into eight different forest communities of whichtwo were identified as variants of the PTLC. The historical land use practices, identified in a previous study by ScottBode, are combined with the vegetation survey data to further refine the PTLC intoinput levels for restoration. One portion of the PTLC is seen to contain nolongleaf pine due to the practices of marine stores production, hog grazing, andselective timbering and would require high input for restoration. Another portionis seen to have only suffered fire suppression as evidenced by old photos, landrecords, and species composition and would require low input for restoration. Inaddition, the vegetative survey data is compared to other PTLC in North Carolinaand the historical record to generate a target list of species for longleaf communityrestoration. As the study progressed, a social aspect that could become an obstacle tothe PTLC restoration effort presented itself. The negative attitude of theneighboring communities of New Hill, Holly Springs, Fuquay-Varina, and Apex toward the use of prescribed fire as a management tool became apparent after anincident in the spring of 1998. This attitude based on old information couldbecome an obstacle if unchallenged. Thus, a white paper was written to theneighboring communities to confront the mythos of the evilness of fire. Arationale discussing the need for the white paper was also included.
Date: 1998-11-06
Degree: MS
Discipline: Forestry

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