Tree regeneration

Tree species vary greatly in their strategies for regeneration, resulting in opportunity for regeneration success of different species in different conditions. Often, however, forest management objectives seem to target species with regeneration difficulty. Consequently, considerable effort is made to manipulate conditions to favor desirable regeneration outcomes. 

We use several approaches to study forest regeneration to improve understanding of regeneration challenges and solutions.

Stand-to-regional regeneration patterns
Silvicultural practice for regeneration success
Species-level regeneration ecology

Understanding current regeneration patterns in relation to site histories and environmental factors informs forest regeneration needs.  

We explore the ecological drivers for regeneration success and failure of individual species. Aspects include competitive dynamics, disturbance ecology, and site requirements.  

We develop silvicultural practices that address a range of tree regeneration challenges by integrating the current regeneration status with the species-specific regeneration needs.

Projects range from studying long-term datasets on temporal trends in regeneration to developing methods of quantifying regional regeneration status using large forest inventory datasets such as Forest Inventory and Analysis.  

Projects include defining ecological constraints to oaks underplanted in bottomland hardwood ecosystems, quantifying fire effects on longleaf pine seedlings, and competitive interaction of shortleaf pine and the associated competing hardwoods.   

Stand-to-regional regeneration patterns
Species-level regeneration ecology
Silvicultural practice for regeneration success

Projects include developing under-planting practices for hardwoods (oaks) and conifers (shortleaf pine and longleaf pine), improving plantation establishment of temperate and tropical trees, and encouraging natural regeneration of upland oaks.