Has Virginia pine declined? The use of forest health monitoring and other information in the determinationThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
This paper examines the current status of Virginia pine, focusing on Forest Health Monitoring (FHM) results and using Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) information to determine if Virginia pine is showing a decline. An examination of crown condition data from live trees in the FHM program from 1991 through 1997 showed that Virginia pine had significantly poorer crown conditions for crown dieback and crown density. The crown variable relationships were poorer for trees that died alter 1993. In addition, the numbers of Virginia pines on the FHM plots declined daring the same time period, even accounting for ingrowth. FIA information across the range of Virginia pine has shown that mortality was 48 percent and removals were 92 percent of net annual growth. Virginia pine is showing a decline based on both FHM crown rating information and FIA data for removals and growth, but this is typical and expected due to the shade intolerance and short-lived nature of Virginia pine.