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Eastern White Pine Health and Responses to Environmental Changes

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Principal Investigator/Project Leader: 
Nick
Brazee
Department of Project: 
Department of Biology
Project Description: 

Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus) is a crucial ecological and economic component of forests in the eastern U.S. and Canada. In the southeastern U.S., white pine is an especially critical associate of forests in the Appalachian Mountains as hemlock trees have been in decline due to the exotic hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae). Yet throughout the eastern U.S., from Georgia to Michigan to Maine and adjacent areas in Canada, white pines have experienced unprecedented damage in recent years due to native pests and pathogens that reduce the species' growth, productivity, and economic value. White pine has enormous economic value throughout its range. Over the region, the net volume of white pine saw logs is over 186 billion board feet (USDA Forest Service, Forest Inventory and Analysis). With a typical market price of $100/1,000 bd ft, the potential value of standing white pine is $18.6 billion. White pine attains the largest dimensions of any eastern tree serving as a critical habitat for many species of wildlife that depend on emergent crowns and large snags and downed woody debris. In addition, white pine serves as an important landscape ornamental and is widely planted in towns and cities across the eastern United States. Increasingly, urban and suburban trees are being relied upon to perform valuable services such as carbon sequestration, stormwater capture, reducing heating/cooling hosts through wind buffering and shade and improving aesthetics. More information is needed on white pine health issues to better understand how well white pine can continue to provide these ecosystem features and identify effective management strategies to enhance white pine health and resilience in the face of these threats

Environmental Conservation topics: 
Forest and Forest Conservation