Open AccessReview

Opportunities for Research on Carbon Management in Longleaf Pine Ecosystems


1,*, 2,3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 1, 1, 1 and 2,3


The Jones Center at Ichauway, Newton, GA 39870, USA


Belle W. Baruch Institute of Coastal Ecology and Forest Science, Clemson University, Georgetown, SC 29442, USA


Department of Forestry and Environmental Conservation, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634, USA


Department of Biological Sciences, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487, USA


Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA


USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station, Sustainable Management of Central Hardwood Ecosystems and Landscapes, Columbia, MO 65211, USA


Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conversation, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA


Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received: 2 March 2023
Revised: 16 April 2023
Accepted: 21 April 2023
Published: 24 April 2023



Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) savannas and woodlands are known for providing numerous ecosystem services such as promoting biodiversity, reducing risk of wildfire and insect outbreaks, and increasing water yields. In these open pine systems, there is also interest in managing carbon (C) in ways that do not diminish other ecosystem services. Additionally, there may be management strategies for accomplishing these same objectives in plantations and degraded stands that developed from natural regeneration. For example, C accumulation in live trees and C storage in harvested wood products could be increased by extending rotations and converting plantations to multi-aged stands. Belowground C storage could be enhanced by incorporating pyrogenic C into the mineral soil before planting longleaf pines in clearcut areas, but this may be contrary to findings that indicate that minimizing soil disturbance is important for long-term soil C storage. We suggest examining approaches to reduce total ecosystem C emissions that include using targeted browsing or grazing with domesticated livestock to supplement prescribed burning, thereby reducing C emissions from burning. The mastication of woody vegetation followed by a program of frequent prescribed burning could be used to reduce the …


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