Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) forests are one of America’s natural treasures, yet past exploitation has left them hanging by a thread, now covering just 3 percent of their pre-settlement range. Because other pine species in the Southeast may be more susceptible to global warming, longleaf pine forests have an opportunity to reclaim some of their former glory.
Indeed, re-establishing longleaf pine ecosystems will benefit all Americans by improving climate resilience, economic opportunity, and ecosystem vitality.
This report provides a summary of recent literature on how global warming will affect forests in the Southeastern United States and how longleaf pine is expected to be resilient to many of these changes.
It makes a strong case for why longleaf pine ecosystem restoration should be the centerpiece of forest-based climate adaptation and carbon sequestration efforts in the region, as well as efforts to improve the economic opportunities of traditionally underserved landowners.
Restoring longleaf pine ecosystems across the American Southeast will boost the economy and help the region cope with climate change's expanding effects.
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