Novel Techniques for Restoring Shortleaf Pine and Shortleaf Pine-Hardwood Ecosystems on Reclaimed Mine Sites
The Cumberland Plateau in the westernmost part of the Appalachian Mountains, is home to a diverse array of plant and animal species and is considered the largest forested plateau in the world. Historically, the forests of the Cumberland Plateau included loblolly-shortleaf pine, oak-hickory, and oak-shortleaf pine. One major reason for land cover change and ecosystem degradation in the Cumberland Plateau has been surface mining for coal. The focus of this project is to: 1) demonstrate novel silvicultural techniques for establishing and enhancing of shortleaf pine and shortleaf pine-oak ecosystems on reclaimed mine sites on privately owned lands in northcentral Alabama; 2) remove invasive species and establish native understory species to enhance wildlife habitat in early-rotation pine monocultures; 3) protect the water quality and channel integrity of streams and restore riparian forests impacted by invasive species and past mining practices; 4) demonstrate and assess soil management systems that incorporate organic matters that improve soil health for shortleaf pine and shortleaf pine-oak ecosystems restoration on reclaimed mine sites; and 5) extend technical information to resource managers and landowners by hosting onsite field day events, distributing social media instructional videos, publications, lectures, and training events for regional extension personnel.
Collaborators: Joshua Granger (MSU), Krishna Poudel (MSU)
Funding: National Fish and Wildlife Federation