Pinus pungens (Table Mountain pine) is a native hard pine of the eastern United States.
Because of this inherent diversity value and their association with periodic fire, Pinus pungens communities have been extensively studied and that research can be divided into two groups: descriptive and fire-related.
While many of the aforementioned scientists commented on the likely role of fire in Pinus pungens communities, the substantial fire-related research has occurred in the past 25 y.
A common characteristic of most of this Pinus pungens research is that it occurred in the southern half of the species range.
Owing to the lack of studies on northern Pinus pungens communities, I initiated a dendroecology study in 2006 of three Pinus pungens stands in Pennsylvania to elucidate basic ecological information about these montane pine communities.
In 2006 I selected three Pinus pungens stands for the study based on the presence of Pinus pungens in the main canopy, one or more hardwood tree species, and the appearance of having been undisturbed for decades.
In each Pinus pungens community, I systematically established 15 pairs of nested circular plots to uniformly sample the woody vegetation.
Because fire was an important disturbance throughout the Appalachian Mountains until the early 1900s (Brose et al., 2014), I inspected the bases of the mature Pinus pungens in each plot for fire scars.
Known by many names--hickory pine, poverty pine, prickly pine-Table Mountain pine (Pinus pungens
) is an Appalachian endemic.