South Carolina’s forests, 2016
South Carolina’s 12.9 million acres of forest cover 67 percent of the State. This forest land area has remained relatively stable for the past 15 years. Notable trends included timberland divestiture by forest industry, acquisition of that timberland by Timber Investment Management Organizations and Real Estate Investment Trusts, and a decrease in the average annual number of agricultural acres reverting to forest. Loblolly-shortleaf pine remains the predominant forest type followed by Oak-hickory forest. These forests hold slightly more than 26 billion cubic feet of wood volume and 636 million oven-dry tons of aboveground live-tree biomass. Softwood annual net growth and removals trended upwards while mortality declined from previously observed levels, giving a growth to removals ratio (a measure used to assess resource sustainability) of 1.4. Conversely, hardwood growth and removals were slightly down while their mortality increased, giving a growth to removals ratio of 1.8. Wildland forest fires were the most frequently recorded disturbance on forest land, followed by forest diseases and weather events. There was an average
15.5 million tons of down woody material carbon and 144.6 million tons on the forest floor in duff and litter. Chinaberry, Chinese/European privets, Japanese honeysuckle, Nepalese browntop, and Chinese or sericea lespedeza were the most commonly encountered nonnative invasive plants on forested plots.
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