University of West Florida Campus Ecosystem Study

The University of West Florida was constructed among second growth longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) stands that had survived extensive logging in the Florida Panhandle. Previous work on the UWF campus based on tree core data from southern Georgia estimated that 65% of longleaf pines are between 75 and 125 years old (Gilliam et al. 2020). To better estimate age, a more accurate model was developed locally and based on counts of annual rings from whole cross-sections of trees. 
Hurricane Sally impacted UWF as a Category 2 storm, with wind speeds ~165 kph (Gilliam 2021),that created numerous longleaf windthrows (i.e., blow downs). Our study took advantage of the longleaf windthrows from Sally to obtain cross-sections for accurate age determinations. Images on the banner above depict (l-r): a windthrow-created opening in a longleaf pine canopy, satellite imagery of Hurricane Sally, and a windthrow longleaf pine after sampling.
Our research addressed the following questions: (1) what is the relationship between stem age and diameter? (2) how does stem growth vary between UWF natural areas? (3) What is the age structure of longleaf pine on UWF campus? (2) how does stem growth vary between UWF natural areas? (3) What is the age structure of longleaf pine on UWF campus?
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Abstract/Description: The University of West Florida was constructed among second growth longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) stands that had survived extensive logging in the Florida Panhandle. Previous work on the UWF campus based on tree core data from southern Georgia estimated that 65% of longleaf pines are between 75 and 125 years old (Gilliam et al. 2020). To better estimate age, a more accurate model was developed locally and based on counts of annual rings from whole cross-sections of trees. Hurricane Sally impacted UWF as a Category 2 storm, with wind speeds ~165 kph (Gilliam 2021),that created numerous longleaf windthrows (i.e., blow downs). Our study took advantage of the longleaf windthrows from Sally to obtain cross-sections for accurate age determinations. Images on the banner above depict (l-r): a windthrow-created opening in a longleaf pine canopy, satellite imagery of Hurricane Sally, and a windthrow longleaf pine after sampling. Our research addressed the following questions: (1) what is the relationship between stem age and diameter? (2) how does stem growth vary between UWF natural areas? (3) What is the age structure of longleaf pine on UWF campus? (2) how does stem growth vary between UWF natural areas? (3) What is the age structure of longleaf pine on UWF campus?
Subject(s): Longleaf pine
Undergraduate Research
UWF Campus Ecosystem Study
Date Issued: 2021