The Longleaf Tree-Ring Network: Reviewing and Expanding the Utility of Pinus palustris Mill. Dendrochronological Data


Grant L. Harley, University of IdahoFollow
Matthew D. Therrell, University of Alabama
Justin Maxwell, Indiana UniversityFollow
Arvind Bhuta, USDA Forest Service
Joshua C. Bregy, Indiana UniversityFollow
Karen J. Heeter, University of Idaho
Thomas Patterson, University of Southern MississippiFollow
Maegen Rochner, University of Louisville
Monica T. Rother, University of North Carolina-Wilmington
Michael Stambaugh, University of Missouri, Columbia
Nicole E. Zampieri, Florida State University
Jan Altman, Czech Academy of Sciences
Savannah A. Collins-Key, University of TennesseeFollow
Christopher M. Gentry, Austin Peay State University
Christopher Guiterman, Cooperative Institute for Research In Environmental Sciences
Jean M. Huffman, Louisiana State UniversityFollow
Daniel J. Johnson, University of Florida
Daniel J. King, University of Idaho
Evan R. Larson, University of Wisoconsin-PlattevilleFollow
Caroline Leland, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University
Hung TT Nguyen, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University
Neil Pederson, Harvard Forest, Harvard UniversityFollow
Joshua J. Puhlick, The Jones Canter at Ichauway
Mukund Palat Rao, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
Milagros Rodriguez-Caton, University of California−Davis
John B. Sakulich, Regis UniversityFollow
Neelratan Singh, CSIR-Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research
Clay S. Tucker, University of AlabamaFollow
Saskia L. Van De Gevel, Appalachian State University
April L. Kaiser, University of Idaho
Sarir Ahmad, University of Agriculture Dera Ismail Khan

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Biological, Environmental, and Earth Sciences


The longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) and related ecosystem is an icon of the southeastern United States (US). Once covering an estimated 37 million ha from Texas to Florida to Virginia, the near-extirpation of, and subsequent restoration efforts for, the species has been well-documented over the past ca. 100 years. Although longleaf pine is one of the longest-lived tree species in the southeastern US—with documented ages of over 400 years—its use has not been reviewed in the field of dendrochronology. In this paper, we review the utility of longleaf pine tree-ring data within the applications of four primary, topical research areas: climatology and paleoclimate reconstruction, fire history, ecology, and archeology/cultural studies. Further, we highlight knowledge gaps in these topical areas, for which we introduce the Longleaf Tree-Ring Network (LTRN). The overarching purpose of the LTRN is to coalesce partners and data to expand the scientific use of longleaf pine tree-ring data across the southeastern US. As a first example of LTRN analytics, we show that the development of seasonwood chronologies (earlywood width, latewood width, and total width) enhances the utility of longleaf pine tree-ring data, indicating the value of these seasonwood metrics for future studies. We find that at 21 sites distributed across the species’ range, latewood width chronologies outperform both their earlywood and total width counterparts in mean correlation coefficient (RBAR = 0.55, 0.46, 0.52, respectively). Strategic plans for increasing the utility of longleaf pine dendrochronology in the southeastern US include [1] saving remnant material (e.g., stumps, logs, and building construction timbers) from decay, extraction, and fire consumption to help extend tree-ring records, and [2] developing new chronologies in LTRN spatial gaps to facilitate broad-scale analyses of longleaf pine ecosystems within the context of the topical groups presented.

Publication Title

Progress In Physical Geography: Earth and Environment

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