long leaf pine

Long Leaf Pine Occurrence The long leaf pine community, also known as a high pine community, occurs on well-drained soils and are well adapted to fires. They are found on the high ground in Florida where the soil can not contain the water and the sandy soil remains dry in between the rains. This community requires frequent, low-intensity fires, which occur every one to ten years, to open seed cones and allow the community to regenerate. Description The long leaf pine community is characterized by the presence of the long leaf pine trees and perennial grasses as ground cover. There are a few oaks present but most are burned out by the frequent fires because they can not adapt to fire as the pines have. The community also provides food for wildlife such as saw palmetto and oaks that provide sufficient food when they are fruiting. This community is completely dependent on fire and the pines have adapted well to surviving fire. Soils The soils found in the high pines are very dry coarse sandy coils. There is also sandy clay that is a dry soil that is rich in nutrients. The majority of soils are classified as entisols, which are excessively drained, highly permeable, and low and nutrients. The clay soil is in a soil group known as paleudults that have fertility rating from moderating to good. Vegetation There are several variations of this ecosystem. Where fire is excluded and/or the pines have been removed, oaks dominate. Ground cover under the overstory of pine trees and shrubs is scattered and sometimes absent. The floor of the system is littered with dry pine needles that provide fuel for the low intensity fires that the system needs to survive. There are also scattered hardwoods that have managed to survive in the system. Fig. 1 Long leaf pine Trees Long leaf pine is the prime species of softwood, bluejack oak and turkey oak are the prime species of hardwoods. Other species in…

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