We developed a density management diagram (DMD) for longleaf pine (Pinus palustris P. Mill.) using data from Forest Inventory and Analysis plots. Selection criteria were for purity, defined as longleaf pine basal area (BA) that is 90% or more of plot BA, and even-agedness, as defined by a ratio between two calculations of stand density index. The diagram predicts stand top height (mean of tallest 40 trees/ac) and volume (ft3/ac) as a function of quadratic mean diameter and stem density (trees/ac). In this DMD we introduce a “mature stand boundary” that, as a model of stand dynamics, restricts the size–density relationship in large-diameter stands more than the expected self-thinning trajectory. The DMD is unbiased by geographic area and therefore should be applicable throughout the range of longleaf pine. The DMD is intended for use in even-aged stands, but may be used for uneven-aged management where a large-group selection system is used. Use of the diagram is illustrated by development of density management regimes intended to create and maintain stand structure desirable for the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealis).
Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Southern Journal of Applied Forestry covers an area from Virginia and Kentucky south to as far west as Oklahoma and east Texas.