MY AMERICAN SCIENTIST
LOG IN! REGISTER!
SEARCH
 
RSS
Logo IMG

NANOVIEW

At the Heart of Pine

Katie L. Burke

Click to Enlarge ImageLongleaf pine forests are the most diverse ecosystem in North America, with 500 species per square kilometer. But many of us, myself included, have missed the forest for the trees: Although these forests are limited in tree diversity, they are exceptionally rich in plant and animal diversity. The number of species endemic to this system is astounding: Researchers counted 925 in one longleaf subtype alone. Longleaf, Far as the Eye Can See: A New Vision of North America’s Richest Forest (University of North Carolina Press, $35), by Bill Finch, Beth Maynor Young, Rhett Johnson and John C. Hall, offers 11 essays on these forests, including numerous photographs that cultivate appreciation for the beauty of the tree itself; of the unique, pyrophytic species it supports; and of the breathtaking landscape it creates.

Longleaf pine savanna is one of the only ecosystems that is both forest and meadow. The book reveals this dynamic system in panoramic images of golden light filtering through trees and illuminating long grasses beneath. And there’s no shortage of close-ups. Shown at right is a longleaf seed germinating at the Solon Dixon Forestry Center in Andalusia, Alabama.

Longleaf was once so common that it was hardly remarked upon, and ecologists are only now beginning to understand the forest that once covered 90 million acres of North America and now covers 3 million. The final sections of the book detail potential restoration solutions for the longleaf that remains, including fire management and profitable investment strategies. Longleaf is not a story of loss, but one of deep reverence for the grandeur and mystery of these regions.



» Post Comment

 

Connect With Us:

    Pinterest Icon Google+ Icon Twitter Icon Facebook Icon Sm


Pizza Lunch Podcasts

African Penguins"Penguins are 10 times older than humans and have been here for a very, very long time," said Daniel Ksepka, Ph.D., a researcher at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent). Dr. Ksepka researches the evolution of penguins and how they came to inhabit the African continent.

Because penguins have been around for over 60 million years, their fossil record is extensive. Fossils that Dr. Ksepka and his colleagues have discovered provide clues about migration patterns and the diversity of penguin species.

Click the Title to view all of our Pizza Lunch Podcasts!


Subscribe to Free eNewsletters!

  • Sigma Xi SmartBrief:

    A free daily summary of the latest news in scientific research. Each story is summarized concisely and linked directly to the original source for further reading.

  • American Scientist Update

  • An early peek at each new issue, with descriptions of feature articles, columns, Science Observers and more. Every other issue contains links to everything in the latest issue's table of contents.

  • Scientists' Nightstand

  • News of book reviews published in American Scientist and around the web, as well as other noteworthy happenings in the world of science books.

    To sign up for automatic emails of the American Scientist Update and Scientists' Nightstand issues, create an online profile, then sign up in the My AmSci area.


EMAIL TO A FRIEND :

Comments


sounds like a cool book :D
posted by Kristin Moore
February 6, 2013 @ 9:30 PM

Subscribe to American Scientist