Sixteen 6-acre research plots were planted with 20,000 longleaf pine to study the effectiveness of various longleaf restoration approaches (no-cut, thinning, group selection, and clearcutting) and site-prep techniques (burning, herbicide, and mowing/chopping). The planting encompassed 96 acres of a 260-acre pine plantation in the coastal watershed of Florida's Big Bend, and the findings can be broadly applied on the refuge, which was converted from longleaf pine to slash pine in the 1960s. The findings will also be useful throughout the Southeast, where public and private land managers are struggling to restore the valuable and once widespread longleaf pine ecosystem using the most cost effective and least destructive site prep methods available. The Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center will assist in site prep and planting and provide the research design, data collection, analysis, and interpretation. It will also publish the study and disseminate its findings to other land managers.
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