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Title: Ecology and History of Upland Pine Forests of the Appalachian Mountains

Summary: The Appalachian Mountains is one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world, originating nearly 500 million years ago.  Since their inception, numerous geologic events formed and shaped them into what we have today – a range of moderate-sized, steep mountains that range from eastern Canada to central Alabama.  Because of their antiquity, complex geologic history, overall size, and north/south orientation in a humid continental climate, the Appalachian Mountains are home to an incredible array of plant communities.  One particularly interesting plant community is the Table Mountain pine forest.  This pine-dominated ecosystem occurs only on xeric ridges and is one of the few plant communities in the Appalachians that are strongly associated with periodic fire.  This presentation will highlight the fire adaptations of the species and explore the fire-human-pine relationships of Table Mountain pine communities.

Presenter: Patrick Brose, Ph.D., Research Forester, USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station, Irvine, PA.

Dr. Brose received his doctorate in forest resources from Clemson University (South Carolina) in 1997.  After completion of his doctorate, he worked for two years as a research forester for the Forest Service’s Southern Research Station where he studied the disturbance ecology of Table Mountain pine.  In 2000, Dr. Brose joined the Northern Research Station as a research forester specializing in the oak regeneration problem and the role of fire in solving that problem.  As time permits, he continues to investigate the ecology and history of Table Mountain pine.