Event Title

Great Basin Bristlecone Pine (Pinus longaeva) Stand Composition and Structure: Variability Reveals Flexibility in Life-history Strategy

Location

USU Eccles Conference Center

Abstract

Great Basin bristlecone pine (Pinus longaeva: GBBP) is known for its longevity and slow growth. We hypothesize that this conservative life-history strategy is adaptive for individual survival and stand persistence across a range of biophysical conditions. We documented non-riparian GBBP from 1980 to 3535 m above sea level as single- species stands, and in mixed stands of two to seven species (total of 12 tree associates). Species diversity varied by elevation and ecoregion. In 69 representative plots, total tree and GBBP-only density varied from 60-2068 and 15-818/ha, respectively; and was not correlated with elevation. Stand and GBBP basal area varied from 2.7- 220.9 and 0.1-206.6 m2/ha, with highest levels restricted to high-elevation, GBBP-dominated stands. Mean age estimates (from a subset of plot trees) were 233 years for all plot trees and 322 years for GBBP only. Results reveal high stand compositional and structural variability across the elevational and geographic range, suggesting substantial adaptive flexibility.

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Oct 18th, 5:20 PM Oct 18th, 5:25 PM

Great Basin Bristlecone Pine (Pinus longaeva) Stand Composition and Structure: Variability Reveals Flexibility in Life-history Strategy

USU Eccles Conference Center

Great Basin bristlecone pine (Pinus longaeva: GBBP) is known for its longevity and slow growth. We hypothesize that this conservative life-history strategy is adaptive for individual survival and stand persistence across a range of biophysical conditions. We documented non-riparian GBBP from 1980 to 3535 m above sea level as single- species stands, and in mixed stands of two to seven species (total of 12 tree associates). Species diversity varied by elevation and ecoregion. In 69 representative plots, total tree and GBBP-only density varied from 60-2068 and 15-818/ha, respectively; and was not correlated with elevation. Stand and GBBP basal area varied from 2.7- 220.9 and 0.1-206.6 m2/ha, with highest levels restricted to high-elevation, GBBP-dominated stands. Mean age estimates (from a subset of plot trees) were 233 years for all plot trees and 322 years for GBBP only. Results reveal high stand compositional and structural variability across the elevational and geographic range, suggesting substantial adaptive flexibility.