Life History & Disturbance Response of Pinus virginiana Virginia pine
Guild: pioneer, dry-site intolerant
Functional Lifeform: small to medium-size evergreen
Ecological Role: successfully competes on abandoned
fields and dry ridges; on good sites a transitional type gradually replaced
by more tolerant hardwood species
Lifespan, yrs (typical/max): 100/200
Shade Tolerance: intolerant
Height, m: 15-23
Canopy Tree: yes
Pollination Agent: wind
Seeding, yrs (begins/optimal/declines): 5/50/100
Mast Frequency, yrs: 3-4
New Cohorts Source: seeds
Flowering Dates: late spring
Flowers/Cones Damaged by Frost: no
Seedfall Begins: late fall -- winter
Seed Banking: 1-10 yrs
Cold Stratification Required: yes
Seed Type/Dispersal Distance/Agent: winged/ to
100 m/ wind
Season of Germination: spring
Seedling Rooting System: shallow spreading
Establishment Seedbed Preferences
Substrate: mineral soil
Light: open areas only
Moisture: moist required
Fire: Virginia pine is opportunistic with respect
to fire but not fire-dependent. It requires some form of disturbance to
regenerate; it decreases when fire or other disturbances are suppressed.
It is thin-barked and has shallow roots, and so is sensitive to fire. Some
large trees may survive a fire. In the past, moderate- to high-intensity
fires probably burned at several-decade intervals, mostly during the dormant
season. These fires served to expose mineral soil and eliminate competitors.
Virginia pine does not sprout but aggressively colonizes burned sites with
seed. Seedling establishment may occur from seeds of surviving trees onsite
or from offsite seeds carried by wind.
Air pollution: Virginia pine is sensitive to ozone.
Symptoms of foliar injury have been noted in areas of high ambient ozone
and under fumigation. Seedlings exhibited reduced height growth and biomass
accumulation under controlled fumigation with ozone.