Events in 2005-2006

(for previous year's events, click here)

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The 2nd Mountain Longleaf Workshop was held at Berry College on November 18-19, 2005.  Click here to download a copy of the Proceedings.

In the summer of 2005, we were awarded a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation/Southern Company Longleaf Legacy grant ($41,564 plus $145,995 in matching funds across three years).   Work on the grant began Sept. 1.  This grant will enable us to complete reforestation of 60 acres of former Southern Pine Beetle spots and will establish a 220 acre carbon reserve.

On Freshman Service Day, August 27, a group of over 20 students from Dr. John Graham's Freshman Seminar class helped cut "herbicide paths" through one of the areas where we have planted longleaf pine seedlings.  Very hard work, but the students did a great job.  These paths facilitated herbicide work that was later done by our Longleaf Team.

In the summer of 2005, two National Science Foundation REU Interns, Amy Huber and Kate Currie, conducted research within the Berry Longleaf area.  Amy conducted research which attempted to quantify total carbon reserves (in anticipation of the NFWF-Southern Company grant).  Kate conducted the first systematic herbaceous plant surveys within the stands undergoing restoration.  Below are copied abstracts of their work, which are included as part of the proceedings from the 2nd Mountain Longleaf Workshop.

Estimation of Carbon Storage in a Mountain Longleaf Ecosystem Of Northwestern Georgia. Amy Huber (Miami University, Oxford, Ohio) Martin Cipollini (Berry College, Mount Berry, Georgia

Abstract:  The mountain longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) has a high density, long life span, and is thus able to sequester large amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Much interest has gathered recently in estimative carbon storage of forests as a means of addressing the global rise in carbon dioxide. The goal of this research was to provide an estimate of total carbon reserves in five mountain longleaf stands at Berry College. Because current methods of estimating biomass are not intended for mountain longleaf forests, it was necessary to correct the methods to reflect local conditions. Estimates for carbon storage were made using the Brown method for all biomass except downed woody material and trees larger than 10 ft. For trees larger than 10 ft. allometric equations for individual species were used to estimate biomass. To estimate downed woody material biomass, a correction factor for downed woody material was established by comparing the Brown method estimations to fixed area masses. These results were combined to estimate the total biomass for the study areas based upon data collected in 2004.

A Survey of the Herbaceous Vegetation Found in the Berry Longleaf Pine Management Area.  Kate Currie , J. Morgan Varner, John Kush, and Martin Cipollini 

Abstract:  The Berry Longleaf Management Plan is an ongoing attempt to restore the Berry College mountain longleaf ecosystem to its natural, fire-maintained habitat. The target ecosystem type is found at fire-maintained longleaf sites in Fort McClellan, AB. To monitor the management plan's progress, a survey of the herbaceous vegetation was conducted in the summer of 2005. Presence and cover values were obtained for every species encountered, and importance values were calculated from these data. The presence of longleaf indicator species (Varner et al 2000, 2003) was also noted. Of the top eleven species ranked by importance value, seven species were longleaf indicator species, and 15 of 21 indicator species were present in the surveyed areas as a whole. In addition, the raw presence data were combined with presence data from the Fort McClellan sites, and a principal component analysis was carried out using the combined data. This analysis revealed a clear separation between the Berry stands and the Fort McClellan stands. Major sources of variation in this analysis included fire-adapted species and in the Fort McClellan stands and shade-loving, non-fire adapted species in the Berry stands. Overall, the survey revealed an ecosystem still suffering from fire suppression and hardwood encroachment, but showing clear signs of recovery on smaller scales.

For the past two years, Brianna Bennett has conducted master's thesis work on the effects of restoration burning on root dynamics in one of our relict mountain longleaf stands.  She finished her work in the spring of 2005.  Click here to link to Brianna's thesis (West Georgia State University)

On May 26, 2005 a group of Armuchee Middle School students helped to weed and place weed-block fabric around longleaf seedlings in our seed orchard.  Some photos from that day:

On Saturday, May 5, 2005 a group of student volunteers (coordinated by Harley Gambrell of Berry's Volunteer Services office) assisted with cleaning the Longleaf Trail and helping to maintain the signs posted along the trail.  BVS participants included Kelly Bearden, Sarah Earl, Emily Thaxton, Laura Holland, Trey Shaw , Laura Reynolds, Jennifer Welch, Richard McLaughlin, George Frye, and Ian Cipollini.  Students from the Forest Ecology class who helped out included: Carrie Coffman, Lisa Ferrone, Josh Gutierrez, James Kane, Carolyn Kujala, Sonal Pattni, Larry Rogers, and Maya Strahl.  Here is a photo of the group.

On Friday, February 18, 2005 Mr. John Hendrickson (Temple Inland) and Mr. Marlin Cox and Dr. Bill Davin (Berry College) helped conduct some grafting experiments using scions from adult old-growth longleaf.  We intend to eventually graft at least 50 individual adult trees onto the rootstock of 100 longleaf trees already established in the area behind Westscott Hall.  Ms. Andrea Jones and Dr. George Gallagher (Berry College Animal Sciences) and Mr. Kirk Hinson (Southern Seed Company) are collaborators on this long-term project.  In the photos below, John (left) and Marlin (middle) graft trees in the field in February.  On the right shows one of the successful grafts 8 months later!