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Home Publications Tree Planters' Notes Tree Planters' Notes Volume 58, Number 1 (2015) Genetic Resource Conservation of Table Mountain Pine (Pinus pungens) in the Central and Southern Appalachian Mountains

Genetic Resource Conservation of Table Mountain Pine (Pinus pungens) in the Central and Southern Appalachian Mountains

Table Mountain pine (Pinus pungens Lambert) was historically a widespread pine species native to the central and southern Appalachian Mountains, but, in recent decades, its current natural distribution has been reduced to less than 30,000 ac (12,000 ha). Reasons for this decline include wildfire suppression programs of the early 20th century, southern pine beetle outbreaks, and recent climate fluctuations. Part of the effort to mitigate this decline is a 5-year, cooperative, genetic-resource conservation effort being conducted by Camcore (International Tree Breeding and Conservation, North Carolina [NC] State University) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Forest Service, Southern Region National Forest System. The goal of the project was to target seed collections from up to 300 mother trees in 30 populations distributed across the natural range of the species. During five field seasons, cones were collected from a total of 262 mother trees in 38 populations and yielded a total of 390,530 seeds. Seeds have been distributed to the USDA Agricultural Research Service-National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation for long-term storage, the USDA Forest Service Ashe Nursery Facility for seed orchard and reforestation activities, and the Camcore Seed Bank for research and field plantings. Collectively, the seed stored at these three facilities represents the largest genetic resource of Table Mountain pine that exists outside of natural stands.

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Author(s): Robert M. Jetton, Barbara S. Crane, W. Andrew Whittier, William S. Dvorak

Publication: Tree Planters' Notes - Volumes 58, Number 1 (2015)

Volume: 58

Number: 1

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