Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Pinus clausa


SPECIES: Pinus clausa
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Carey, Jennifer H. 1992. Pinus clausa. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: [].

ABBREVIATION : PINCLA PINCALC PINCLAI SYNONYMS : NO-ENTRY SCS PLANT CODE : PICL COMMON NAMES : sand pine scrub pine spruce pine TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name of sand pine is Pinus clausa (Chapm. ex Engelm.) Vasey ex Sarg. [1,11]. The species is divided into two geographic varieties which differ in cone serotiny [1,11,12,16]: Pinus clausa var. clausa = Ocala sand pine (serotinous cones) Pinus clausa var. immuginata = Choctawhatchee sand pine (nonserotinous cones) Aside from serotiny, no consistent morphological differences have been found between the two varieties. Myers [16] suggests that there is no compelling reason to distinguish them. Both varieties will be discussed in this report, with emphasis on Pinus clausa var. clausa. LIFE FORM : Tree FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Pinus clausa
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : The Ocala variety grows in the Florida Peninsula, and the Choctawhatchee variety grows in the Florida Panhandle and southern Alabama. On the peninsula, sand pine occurs from Tampa to Naples on the Gulf Coast and from St. Augustine to Fort Lauderdale on the Atlantic Coast. A few stands also occur on off-shore islands. The largest stand of sand pine is in the Big Shrub Complex of the Ocala National Forest in north-central Florida [1,2,16]. ECOSYSTEMS : FRES12 Longleaf - slash pine FRES14 Oak - pine STATES : AL FL BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : NO-ENTRY KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS : K112 Southern mixed forest K115 Sand pine scrub SAF COVER TYPES : 69 Sand pine 70 Longleaf pine 71 Longleaf pine - scrub oak 84 Slash pine SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : Sand pine is dominant in the Florida Scrub community type. A published classification listing sand pine as dominant in community types (cts) is presented below: Area Classification Authority FL gen. forest cts Waggoner 1975


SPECIES: Pinus clausa
WOOD PRODUCTS VALUE : Sand pine is used for fuel and pulpwood. The species' small size has prevented its use for structural lumber, but this use may become more important in the future [1]. IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : Sand pine seeds are eaten by birds and small mammals. The sand pine canopy creates habitat for numerous woodpeckers, songbirds, and birds of prey, as well as grey and flying squirrels [1,16]. The federally endangered Florida scrub jay will occasionally nest in young sand pine [12,16]. PALATABILITY : NO-ENTRY NUTRITIONAL VALUE : NO-ENTRY COVER VALUE : NO-ENTRY VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : NO-ENTRY OTHER USES AND VALUES : The Choctawhatchee sand pine is grown for Christmas trees because of its short, heavily foliated branches and dark green needles [1]. OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Timber: Sand pine in the Ocala National Forest in central Florida is managed for pulp. On productive sites, sand pine grows to a merchantable size [2]. Blocks of 20 to 40 acres (8-16 ha) are clearcut, scrub is removed, the ground is scarified, and either seeds are planted or branches with cones are scattered on the ground [2,16]. In the direct seeding method, five seeds per spot maximizes seedling establishment. Seed predation is not severe enough to warrant pesticide treatment [18]. In the cone method, the closed cones will open on the ground from solar heat. Stands can be supplemented with nursery stock [2]. The Choctawhatchee variety grows more slowly than the Ocala variety but has a good survival rate and can be cut after the open cones release seeds. Choctawhatchee sand pine may be most suited for large-scale reforestation [21]. Mature sand pine is subject to windfall [1,16]. Insects: Bark beetles (Ips spp.) and sand pine sawfly (Neodiprion pratti) are the main insects that damage sand pine. Bark beetle attacks are associated with stresses such as drought or crowded stand conditions. The saw fly can defoliate entire stands. Tip moths (Rhyacionia spp.), aphids, and scales can cause some undesirable deformity and discoloration in Christmas tree plantations [1]. Disease: Mushroom root rot caused by Clitocybe tabescens occurs in plantations sites where the soil is not well-drained [1]. Natural stands of sand pine are disappearing from Florida. Many former stands have been converted to citrus groves, subdivisions, or recreational vehicle parks. Twenty-one federally endangered or threatened plant and animal species live in sand pine forests [17].


SPECIES: Pinus clausa
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Sand pine is a small, narrow, evergreen conifer with a dense, pointed crown of highly divided branches. Sand pines grown on productive sites attain heights of 66 feet (20 m) and diameters of 18 to 20 inches (45-50 cm), but smaller trees are more common [1,16]. Sand pine rarely reaches 100 years in age. Individuals can be gnarled, leaning, or stunted. The thin gray bark is fibrous and brittle, and cones have short, stout spines [10]. Seedlings grown in sand have a fine root system with numerous laterals. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Phanerophyte (mesophanerophyte) REGENERATION PROCESSES : Seed production and dissemination: Sand pine is monoecious. Trees can begin producing cones at 5 years of age [1] and can form two or three whorls of cones per year [7,12]. The Ocala variety produces an abundant cone crop almost every year. Ocala cones are predominantly serotinous, although 20 percent or more of the individuals in Ocala stands may have at least some open cones [16]. The closed cones persist in the crown for 10 or more years [10]. The Choctawhatchee variety has mostly nonserotinous cones that open when mature. A good cone crop occurs every 4 to 6 years. The winged seeds of both varieties are dispersed short distances by wind [1,10]. Seedling development: Seed viability in closed cones decreases with cone age and is only 10 to 20 percent in 5-year-old cones. Epigeal germination occurs at any time of year but is rare in the heat of the summer [1]. Seedlings are killed by ground temperatures of 125 degrees Fahrenheit (52 deg C) [9]. They are also destroyed by ants and birds. Ocala sand pine grows 15 to 18 inches (38-46 cm) in the first year while Choctawhatchee sand pine grows only 10 to 15 inches (25-38 cm) [1,21]. Sand pine growth is more influenced by nutrient deficiency of the soil than by water deficiency [16]. Ocala sand pine grows in dense even-aged stands while Choctawhatchee sand pine grows in more open, uneven-aged stands with scattered seedlings and saplings in openings [12]. Vegetative reproduction: Choctawhatchee sand pine seedlings have basal branches which may replace the main stem if it is top-killed [1]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Sand pine grows on xeric sand ridges that are thought to be former Pleistocene dunes and shorelines. The terrain is hilly to gently rolling. Ocala sand pine ranges in elevation from 20 feet (6 m) to 200 feet (61 m), and Choctawhatchee sand pine from near sea level to 295 feet (90 m) [1]. Sand pine grows in well-drained to excessively drained, acidic sandy soils of marine origin. These soils are primarily Entisols derived from quartz sand [1]. The understory associated shrubs of the Ocala variety include myrtle oak (Quercus myrtifolia), Chapman's oak (Q. chapmanii), sand live oak (Q. virginiana var. germinata), scrub oak (Q. inopina), rusty lyonia (Lyonia ferruginea), Florida rosemary (Ceratiola ericoides), scrub palmetto (Sabal etonia), saw-palmetto (Serenoa repens), silk bay (Persea borbonia var. humilis), ground blueberry (Vaccinium myrsinites), gopher-apple (Chrysobalanus oblongifolius), beakrush (Rhynchospora megalocarpa), and palafoxia (palafoxia feayi). Many of these shrubs are evergreen or nearly evergreen. There is little or no herbaceous ground cover [1,16]. (Also see SAF Cover Types). The understory of Choctawhatchee sand pine stands is sparse and includes turkey oak (Q. laevis), bluejack oak (Q. incana), sand post oak (Q. stellata var. margaretta), pineland threeawn (Aristida stricta), and prickly pear (Opuntia spp.) [1]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Sand pine is moderately intolerant of competition and intermediate in shade tolerance [1,16]. It will establish in and eventually dominate scrub oak communities. Sand pine will invade longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) forests in the absence of fire. Sand pine scrub vegetation, in which sand pine grows in very dense, even-aged stands of 8,000 to 10,000 trees per acre (20,000-25,000/ha), is considered a fire-climax community [9]. If fire occurs once every 20 to 60 years in sand pine stands, the vegetation community will not change. In the absence of fire, a xeric hardwood forest of oak and hickory will succeed sand pine. If there is frequent fire, oak scrub or slash pine (P. ellottii) will replace sand pine [1,5,9,15,16]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Flower buds form in early summer and become visible by early autumn. The Ocala variety usually begins shedding pollen in mid-November but can begin shedding a month later. The Choctawhatchee variety usually begins shedding pollen in late January but can begin anytime from late December to mid-March. Cones mature by the end of the second year [1,7,10].


SPECIES: Pinus clausa
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Sand pine is classified as fire-resistant because it regenerates profusely through seeds after fire. Mature trees have a low tolerance to fire because of thin bark [14]. Sand pine is maintained by infrequent, high-severity fires [1,16,17]. The dense crown canopy of sand pine reduces understory vegetation and fuel build-up on the ground. Most understory vegetation is evergreen which does not produce a thick litter of dry leaves, and there is little or no grass. Fire usually stalls out at the outside edge of a sand pine stand, but if the stand is ignited, a severe fire will occur. This delayed pyrogenic strategy results in instant site recapture [10]. Large numbers of seeds are released from serotinous cones and germinate on the exposed ground. Sand pine stands usually only burn in the spring when high winds carry fire into the crowns [5]. In addition, needle water content is at its lowest and ether content at its highest in the spring [22]. Sustained hot weather will also make the stand more susceptible to ignition [16]. Highly flammable Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides) accumulates on older sand pine and can be ignited by lightning or can elevate a ground fire to the crown [9]. Fire intervals of 20 to 60 years maintains even-aged sand pine stands [16,20]. If more frequent, trees may not be old enough to reproduce. If less frequent, sand pine becomes senescent and is replaced by oak. Sand pine communities are often intermixed with longleaf pine communities which burn every 3 to 8 years. Adjacent low-severity ground fires rarely ignite young sand pine stands. Richardson [20] reported that scrub allelopathy prevents grass and pine regeneration in sand pine communities and along the borders. Grasses and pine seedlings would otherwise provide fuel for surface fires. Choctawhatchee sand pine usually grows in areas free of fire. Open-coned forms of the Ocala variety also invade and establish in areas with no fire. Open-coned stand reestablishment after fire is dependent on trees located near the periphery of the burn. The degree of serotiny in Ocala and Choctawhatchee stands is probably a function of fire history [16]. Open-coned stands may have a history of no fire or frequent low-severity ground fires, whereas close-coned stands may have a history of infrequent but high-severity crown fires [12]. FIRE REGIMES : Find fire regime information for the plant communities in which this species may occur by entering the species name in the FEIS home page under "Find Fire Regimes". POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY : crown-stored residual colonizer; short-viability seed in on-site cones crown-stored residual colonizer; long-viability seed in on-site cones off-site colonizer; seed carried by wind; postfire years one and two


SPECIES: Pinus clausa
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Sand pine is killed by moderate- to high-severity fires [16]. Low-severity ground fires will not kill mature trees, but this type of fire is rare in sand pine communities. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : After a fire, the numerous closed cones stored in the crown release their seeds. A severe fire prepares a good seedbed and removes scrub vegetation. Seeds germinate and the stand replaces itself [1,16]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : NO-ENTRY FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Wildfire in sand pine stands usually exhibits extreme and uncontrollable behavior. For instance, a fire in Ocala National Forest in 1935 burned 5,670 acres (2,295 ha) in 4 hours [16]. Because of fire suppression, many sand pine stands are aging and will be replaced by oak. Prescribed fire in sand pine stands has been restricted because of air quality concerns and because they are considered dangerous. Doren and others [3] tested a sand pine fuel model and found prescribed burning in sand pine scrub can be accomplished effectively and safely. Methods used included blacklining and reducing standing biomass along the stand perimeter.


SPECIES: Pinus clausa
REFERENCES : 1. Brendemuehl, R. H. 1990. Pinus clausa (Chapm. ex Engelm.) Vasey ex Sarg. sand pine. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1. Conifers. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 294-301. [13392] 2. Cooper, Robert W. 1958. Sand pine regeneration in Florida. In: Proceedings: Society of American Foresters meeting; 1957 November 10-13; Syracuse, NY. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters: 71-72. [11948] 3. Doren, Robert F.; Roberts, Richard E.; Richardson, Donald R. 1991. Sand pine scrub burning: some positive steps for management. In: High intensity fire in wildlands: management challenges and options: Proceedings, 17th Tall Timbers fire ecology conference; 1989 May 18-21; Tallahassee, FL. Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 408-409. Abstract. [17797] 4. Eyre, F. H., ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters. 148 p. [905] 5. Garren, Kenneth H. 1943. Effects of fire on vegetation of the southeastern United States. Botanical Review. 9: 617-654. [9517] 6. Garrison, George A.; Bjugstad, Ardell J.; Duncan, Don A.; [and others]. 1977. Vegetation and environmental features of forest and range ecosystems. Agric. Handb. 475. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 68 p. [998] 7. Krugman, Stanley L.; Jenkinson, James L. 1974. Pinaceae--pine family. In: Schopmeyer, C. S., technical coordinator. Seeds of woody plants in the United States. Agric. Handb. 450. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 598-637. [1380] 8. Kuchler, A. W. 1964. Manual to accompany the map of potential vegetation of the conterminous United States. Special Publication No. 36. New York: American Geographical Society. 77 p. [1384] 9. Laessle, A. M. 1968. Relationship of sand pine scrub to former shore lines. Quarterly Journal of the Florida Academy of Sciences. 30(4): 269-286. [11621] 10. Landers, J. Larry. 1991. Disturbance influences on pine traits in the southeastern United States. In: Proceedings, 17th Tall Timbers fire ecology conference; 1989 May 18-21; Tallahassee, FL. Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 61-95. [17601] 11. Little, Elbert L., Jr. 1979. Checklist of United States trees (native and naturalized). Agric. Handb. 541. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 375 p. [2952] 12. Little, Elbert L., Jr.; Dorman, Keith W. 1952. Geographic differences in cone-opening in sand pine. Journal of Forestry. 50: 204-205. [17798] 13. Lyon, L. Jack; Stickney, Peter F. 1976. Early vegetal succession following large northern Rocky Mountain wildfires. In: Proceedings, Tall Timbers fire ecology conference and Intermountain Fire Research Council fire and land management symposium; 1974 October 8-10; Missoula, MT. No. 14. Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 355-373. [1496] 14. McCune, Bruce. 1988. Ecological diversity in North American pines. American Journal of Botany. 75(3): 353-368. [5651] 15. Myers, Ronald L. 1985. Fire and the dynamic relationship between Florida sandhill and sand pine scrub vegetation. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 112(3): 241-252. [11606] 16. Myers, Ronald L. 1990. Scrub and high pine. In: Myers, Ronald L.; Ewel, John J., eds. Ecosystems of Florida. Orlando, FL: University of Central Florida Press: 150-193. [17389] 17. Myers, Ronald L. 1991. Condominiums, trailer parks, and high-intensity fires: the future of sand pine scrub preserves in Florida. In: Proceedings, 17th Tall Timbers fire ecology conference; 1989 May 18-21; Tallahassee, FL. Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 301. [17613] 18. Outcalt, Kenneth W. 1991. Effect of pesticides and number of seed per spot on seedling establishment from direct-sown Ocala sand pine seed. In: Coleman, Sandra S.; Neary, Daniel G., compilers. Proceedings, 6th biennial southern silvicultural research conference: Vol. 1; 1990 October 30 - November 1; Memphis, TN. Gen. Tech. Rep. SE-70. .x. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southeastern Forest Experiment Station: 47-51. [17461] 19. Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p. [2843] 20. Richardson, D. R.; Williamson, G. B. 1988. Allelopathic effects of shrubs of the sand pine scrub on pines and grasses of the Sandhills. Forest Science. 34(3): 592-605. [5427] 21. Rockwood, D. L.; Kok, H. R. 1978. Which sand pine to plant in Florida?. Southern Journal of Applied Forestry. 2(2): 49-50. [10631] 22. Rundel, Philip W. 1981. Structural and chemical components of flammability. In: Mooney, H. A.; Bonnicksen, T. M.; Christensen, N. L.; [and others], technical coordinators. Fire regimes and ecosystem properties: Proceedings of the conference; 1978 December 11-15; Honolulu, HI. Gen. Tech. Rep. WO-26. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 183-207. [4393] 23. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. 1982. National list of scientific plant names. Vol. 1. List of plant names. SCS-TP-159. Washington, DC. 416 p. [11573] 24. Veno, Patricia Ann. 1976. Successional relationships of five Florida plant communities. Ecology. 57: 498-508. [9659] 25. Waggoner, Gary S. 1975. Eastern deciduous forest, Vol. 1: Southeastern evergreen and oak-pine region. Natural History Theme Studies No. 1, NPS 135. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service. 206 p. [16103] 26. Woolfenden, Glen E. 1973. Nesting and survival in a population of Florida scrub jays. Living Bird. 12: 25-49. [16723]