Spatial patterns of longleaf pine seedling establishment on the North Carolina Coastal Plain
Avery, Chadwick Ryan
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Spatial relationships between longleaf pine seedlings and mature trees were examined in second-growth stands in coastal North Carolina. Specific questions addressed were 1) Does the spatial pattern of stems depart from random for either mature trees or seedlings? 2) Is there a spatial association between mature trees and seedlings? 3) Does a relationship exist between the occurrence of mature trees and underground or surface resources (i.e. nitrogen content, carbon content, and litter biomass) or root mass? Ripley’s univariate L(t) statistic was used to test whether the spatial pattern of stems departed from random. Ripley’s second order statistic was used to determine whether a significant relationship existed between mature trees and seedlings. Generally, seedlings were found to be aggregated, but no significant spatial relationship was found between seedlings and mature trees. The most significant influence of mature trees on seedlings may be increased litter accumulation next to trees, which can adversely affect seedling survival by increasing fire intensity.