Ancient Tree Stumps Shed New Light on Fire in Florida

Ancient Tree Stumps Shed New Light on Fire in Florida

A single Longleaf Pine can be dated back hundreds of years ago, and today these historic trees are inspiring a researcher named Jean Huffman in her journey to decode the secrets of ancient tree stumps in Florida.  Jean Huffman is a fire ecologist for Louisiana State University and Tall Timbers Research Station, she aims to assist land managers in restoring the Longleaf Pine ecosystem. This special ecosystem once covered a vast area of 90 million acres that stretched from Virginia to Texas, but for a variety of reasons, Longleaf Pine forests declined to less than 5% of their original extent. By using the pine stumps and the tree core data, Huffman is able to give land managers a timetable of how often the land burned. This research provides important information, because prescribed burning is a delicate but essential way of restoring the Longleaf Pine landscape. Huffman’s research will help other scientists revive the Longleaf Pine ecosystem and the surrounding areas.  To read more about Huffman’s journey, click here for the full articles. 

Image 1: Jean Huffman with a tip-up longleaf stump. Photo credit: Neil Jones.