Simulating the impacts of southern pine beetle and fire on the dynamics of xerophytic pine landscapes in the southern Appalachians Academic Article uri icon


  • Question: Can fire be used to maintain Yellow pine (Pinus subgenus Diploxylon) stands disturbed by periodic outbreaks of southern pine beetle? Location: Southern Appalachian Mountains, USA. Methods: We used LANDIS to model vegetation disturbance and succession on four grids representative of xeric landscapes in the southern Appalachians. Forest dynamics of each landscape were simulated under three disturbance scenarios: southern pine beetle, fire, and southern pine beetle and fire, as well as a no disturbance scenario. We compared trends in the abundance of pine and hardwood functional types as well as individual species. Results: Yellow pine abundance and open woodland conditions were best maintained by a combination of fire and southern pine beetle disturbance on both low elevation sites as well as mid-elevation ridges & peaks. On mid-elevation SE-W facing slopes, pine woodlands were best maintained by fire alone. Conclusions: Our simulations suggest that fire can help maintain open pine woodlands in stands affected by southern pine beetle outbreaks. IAVS; Opulus Press.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Waldron, J. D., Lafon, C. W., Coulson, R. N., Cairns, D. M., Tchakerian, M. D., Birt, A., & Klepzig, K. D.

citation count

  • 19

complete list of authors

  • Waldron, JD||Lafon, CW||Coulson, RN||Cairns, DM||Tchakerian, MD||Birt, A||Klepzig, KD

publication date

  • April 2007