Forest area and conditions: a 2010 update of Chapter 16 of the Southern Forest Resource Assessment
This report updates the findings of Chapter 16 of the Southern Forest Resource Assessment (Wear and Greis 2002), based on 2010 report year data. Analysis focuses on changes in the South’s forest resources since 1999 using annual inventory, mapped-plot design data available for the first time for all 13 Southern States (excluding west Oklahoma and west Texas). The recently implemented inventory design is a drastic departure from the traditional periodic, variable-radius survey design used to collect past resource estimates. The authors advise caution when making direct comparisons to past estimates. The 2010 data perhaps best serve as a new baseline from which to analyze future changes in southern forest resources. The 2010 results estimate southern forest land area to be 208.8 million acres compared to 214.8 million estimated in 1999. The timberland component of forest land increased 4.0 million acres to 204.7 million. Total growing-stock volume amounted to 299.7 billion cubic feet in 2010, some 38.1 billion cubic feet more than reported in 1999. Hardwood species account for 58 percent of the current growing-stock volume. Nearly 222.8 billion cubic feet (74 percent) of the current growing stock is on nonindustrial private timberland. Growing-stock net annual growth averaged 13.1 billion cubic feet per year between 1999 and 2010. Net growth outpaced annual removals (9.5 billion cubic feet per year) by 3.6 billion cubic feet annually. Average annual mortality continued to trend upward, amounting to 2.7 billion cubic feet per year since 1999.