• Home
  • Lelia Katherine Kirkman
Lelia Katherine Kirkman

Lelia Katherine Kirkman
J. W. Jones Ecological Research Center

PhD

About

87
Publications
10,989
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
2,751
Citations

Publications

Publications (87)
Article
Full-text available
Restoration of the herbaceous understory community of the longleaf pine ecosystem is limited by the availability of appropriate seeds. To understand the relationship of seed transfer zones and genetic composition of two co-occurring species of the herbaceous understory, seeds of little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) and hairy lespedeza (Lespede...
Article
Full-text available
Seed sourcing is a concern for restoration practitioners in all regions and habitats. The possibility that plants are most suited to their home environments due to genetic adaptations to local biotic and abiotic conditions prompts questions of how far plant material can be moved from home sites and remain ecologically appropriate in a restoration s...
Article
Governments worldwide do not adequately protect their limited freshwater systems and therefore place freshwater functions and attendant ecosystem services at risk. The best available scientific evidence compels enhanced protections for freshwater systems, especially for impermanent streams and wetlands outside of floodplains that are particularly v...
Article
Full-text available
Recognition of spatial heterogeneity of fire at fine scales is emerging, particularly in ecosystems characterized by frequent, low-intensity fire regimes. Differences in heat flux associated with variation in fuel and moisture conditions create microsites that affect survivorship and establishment of species. We studied the mechanisms by which fire...
Book
[from CRC Press] Ecological Restoration and Management of Longleaf Pine Forests is a timely synthesis of the current understanding of the natural dynamics and processes in longleaf pine ecosystems. This book beautifully illustrates how incorporation of basic ecosystem knowledge and an understanding of socioeconomic realities shed new light on estab...
Article
This study examines the complex feedback mechanisms that regulate a positive relationship between species richness and productivity in a longleaf pine-wiregrass woodland. Across a natural soil moisture gradient spanning wet-mesic to xeric conditions, two large scale manipulations over a 10-yr period were used to determine how limiting resources and...
Article
Full-text available
Geographically isolated wetlands (GIWs), those surrounded by uplands, exchange materials, energy, and organisms with other elements in hydrological and habitat networks, contributing to landscape functions, such as flow generation, nutrient and sediment retention, and biodiversity support. GIWs constitute most of the wetlands in many North American...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Restoration of the fire-dependent, species rich longleaf pine-wiregrass (Pinus palustris-Aristida beyrichiana) ecosystem of the southeastern United States is a daunting task and requires knowledge of the complex relationships between stand structure, fuels, longleaf pine regeneration and mechanisms that maintain divers...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods There is growing concern about population declines in several North American pollinator species, and loss of appropriate native habitat for some pollinators may be a contributing factor. While interest in restoring pollinator habitat extends to the species rich, fire-maintained longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) eco...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Restoration of native ground cover is a top conservation priority in the longleaf pine ecosystem of the southeastern United States, but a major obstacle is the lack of commercially available seed from southeastern U.S. sources. Many species associated with longleaf pine grow throughout the Southeast and Midwest, and ec...
Article
Full-text available
Fine-scale heterogeneity in fuels influences fire behavior and, in turn, may influence patterns of plant recruitment and regeneration from soil seed banks. In particular, hard-seeded species, such as many members of the plant family Fabaceae, may experience differential germination and mortality rates as a result of heterogeneous fire intensities m...
Article
The use of reference models as templates of historical or natural conditions to assess restoration progress is inherently logical; however, difficulties occur in application because of the need to incorporate temporal variation in ecosystems caused by disturbance and succession, as well as seasonal, interannual, or decadal variability. The landscap...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Ecological forestry is an emerging discipline that integrates characteristics of natural disturbances into silvicultural practices to promote biological diversity and sustain viable forest communities. We designed an experiment to test the effect of several harvest treatments that vary in the amount and spatial pattern...
Article
Full-text available
The natural patterns of myrmecochory are disrupted by the dominance of red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) in the southeastern United States. This leads to questions about the role of fire ants as seed dispersers. We examined the fate of ant-dispersed seed in the longleaf pine ecosystem. First, we determined removal rates for a suite of com...
Article
Full-text available
We used aerial photographs from 1948, 1968, 1993, and 2007 to construct a chronosequence of land use and land cover (LULC) representing 10 percent of the Dougherty Plain physiographic district in southwestern Georgia. We found large declines in the area of forest and unirrigated agriculture and increases in planted pine and irrigated agriculture. T...
Article
Restoring the fire-maintained longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) ecosystem in the southeastern United States has become a regional conservation priority in recent years and development of cost-effective approaches to restoration is a major objective. An improved understanding of the potential role of persistent seed banks in the longleaf pine ec...
Article
Fire ant presence and dominance, coupled with immediate or sometimes even past disturbance, may have some effect on the native ant community. We used four timber harvest treatments (control, group selection, group selection with retention, and single tree selection) to measure the effect of disturbance on the fire ant population and native ant comm...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Longleaf pine-wiregrass ecosystems of the southeastern United States are adapted to frequent low-intensity fires, which maintain open, savanna-like landscapes and foster high species richness within the ground cover vascular plant community. The objective of this long-term project is to understand how resource (moisture...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Remotely-sensed land use data are often effective predictive tools for gauging wetland quality. In this study, we describe the current status of isolated wetlands in southwestern Georgia through an examination of current and historic land use patterns surrounding each wetland. Specifically, we identify land use types d...
Article
Full-text available
Facilitative interactions between neighboring plants can influence community composition, especially in locations where environmental stress is a factor limiting competitive effects. The longleaf pine savanna of the southeastern United States is a threatened and diverse system where seedling recruitment success and understory species richness level...
Article
Globally, there is a growing awareness that geographically isolated wetlands contribute to important landscape functions and ecological services. One of their most important functions is providing habitat to a diverse fauna and flora adapted to variable wet and dry environments. We focus on analysis of similarities among three distinct taxa, vascul...
Article
Restoration practices incorporating timber harvest (e.g. to remove undesirable species or reduce tree densities) may generate unmerchantable wood debris that is piled and burned for fuel reduction. Slash pile burns are common in longleaf pine ecosystem restoration that involves hardwood removal before reintroduction of frequent prescribed fire. In...
Article
Full-text available
When wetland restoration includes re-establishing native plant taxa as an objective, an understanding of the variables driving the development of plant communities is necessary. With this in mind, we examined soil and physiographic characterstics of depressional wetlands of three vegetation types (cypressgum swamps, cypress savannas, and grass-sedg...
Article
Full-text available
Increasing interest in isolated wetlands requires an understanding of the location, spatial extent, and configuration of the resource. The National Wetlands Inventory (NWI) is the most commonly used data source for this information; however, the accuracy is limited in some contexts, e.g., agricultural, seasonally-ponded, or forested wetlands. This...
Article
Full-text available
Isolated wetlands are ideal model systems to examine linkages between environmental change, complex food webs, and the ecology of mosquito-borne diseases. Through long-term studies, we have evaluated the diversity among plant, invertebrate, and amphibian species of relatively undisturbed isolated wetlands. Based on preliminary evidence from impaire...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods The overall objective of this study is to define reference models for measuring ecological recovery for southeastern United States that can be coupled with the recovery of the Red-cockaded woodpecker (RCW), a species of high conservation priority on several military bases. The premise of the dynamic ecological referenc...
Article
The degree to which changes in community composition mediate the probability of colonization and spread of non-native species is not well understood, especially in animal communities. High species richness may hinder the establishment of non-native species. Distinguishing between this scenario and cases in which non-native species become establishe...
Article
Full-text available
Native grasses and forbs are an important component of the longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) ecosystem; however, information about re-establishment of these species in a restoration context has become available only recently. Understanding the effects of herbicides on non-target native plants can advance the use of herbicides as an effective re...
Article
Full-text available
Invasion of non-native ants potentially disrupts natural relationships of native ants and ant-dispersed plants. These relationships may be affected directly through seed collection, or indirectly though impacts on the native ant community. Solenopsis invicta (the red imported fire ant), a widespread invasive of the southeastern United States, negat...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods In the fire-maintained longleaf pine ecosystem, we are quantifying the long-term recovery of native ground cover vegetation and fine fuels from silvicultural treatments representing a gradient of canopy retention. Overall study objectives are 1) compare the extent and patterns of disturbance to vegetation at small- and...
Article
Full-text available
Invasive ants threaten native communities, in part, through their potential to disrupt mutualisms, yet invasive species may also facilitate native species. The red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) is one of the most conspicuous invasive ants in North America and its high densities, combined with its potential to displace native ants, have led...
Article
Full-text available
The herbaceous ground cover of the longleaf pine ecosystem harbors the highest plant species richness in North America, with up to 50 species per square meter, but the mechanisms that regulate this diversity are not well understood. In this system, variability in seedling recruitment events may best explain the extremely high small-scale species ri...
Article
Full-text available
We evaluated methodology for estimating total plant species richness in seasonally inundated depressional wetlands of the longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) ecosystem. Our objectives were to assess non-parametric estimators of plant species richness based on species incidence plot samples and to determine the minimum sampling requirement for acc...
Article
Full-text available
Southern old-growth forests are small and rare, but critical in their support of biodiversity. While the remnant old-growth forests contain diversity that is significant regionally and globally, they most likely represent only a portion of the variety that old forests once sustained. High within-habitat diversity and rarity in the landscape magnify...
Article
1. The restoration of disturbance-maintained ecosystems may require management to overcome ecological thresholds and re-establish feedbacks that perpetuate an alternative community. We use hardwood-dominated depression wetlands (locally known as oak domes) embedded in the fire-maintained longleaf pine–wiregrass Pinus palustris–Aristida stricta ecos...
Article
Abstract 1. This correlational study examines the relationship between the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) and native ants in a longleaf pine savanna. Fire ants are frequently associated with a decline in native ants throughout the invaded range, but fire ant invasion is often coupled with habitat disturbance. Invasion of fire ants into...
Article
Question: Do case studies from silvicultural and restoration studies and applied conservation management in second-growth Pinus palustris stands provide unique insights for conservation models?Methods: A review of management paradigms that conserve the high biological diversity and rare species, drawn from characteristics in both second-growth and...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Legume species (Fabaceae) are important functional and compositional components of the fire-maintained and species-rich longleaf pine (Pinus palustris)-wiregrass (Aristida stricta) ecosystem of the southeastern United States. Legumes replenish nitrogen lost from soil due to frequent fire, provide valuable forage for wildlife, and contribute signifi...
Article
Full-text available
Summary • Conversion of established forests of undesirable species composition or structure to a multi-age, native forest community is a common restoration goal. However, for some ecosystems, the complexity of multiple disturbances and biotic factors requires unique approaches to advance community development. We use the longleaf pine (Pinus palust...
Article
Full-text available
In this study, we uscd a hierarchical, multifactor ecological classification system lo emtnine how spatial patterns of biodiversity develop in onc of the most spccics-rich ecosystems in North America, the fire-maintained longleaf pine-wiregrass ecosystem and asscxiatcd depressional wetlands and riparian forests. Our goal was to determine which land...
Article
Full-text available
Photosynthetic, morphological, and growth responses to light environment can be useful measurements to determine favorable habitat conditions for the conservation of endangered species. For Lindera melissifolia (Walt.) Blume, we compared morphological and photosynthetic responses under natural and controlled light regimes, and growth under three li...
Article
1 We identified species with low re-colonization potential, which could be used as indicators of recovery of species-rich pine savannas, by comparing the ground-cover flora of a 64-year-old slash pine plantation (recovery site) with that of a nearby natural longleaf pine savanna (reference site). We also determined life-history traits that were use...
Article
Full-text available
The federally endangered hemiparasite, Schwalbea americana L., American chaffseed (Scrophulariaceae), is a long-lived perennial herb adapted to fire-maintained ecosystems, such as Pinus palustris Mill. - Aristida spp. (longleaf pine-wiregrass) communities of the southeastern Coastal Plain. Schwalbea americana exhibits fire-induced flowering, and po...
Article
Full-text available
The fire-maintained longleaf pine ecosystem of the southeastern Coastal Plain harbors nearly 200 rare and endangered plant species, many of which depend on frequent fire for persistence. One such fire-dependent species is the federally endangered hemiparasite, Schwalbea americana L. (Scrophulariaceae). Regardless of season of burn, fire stimulates...
Article
Full-text available
In this study, we used a hierarchical, multifactor ecological classification system to examine how spatial patterns of biodiversity develop in one of the most species-rich ecosystems in North America, the fire-maintained longleaf pine-wiregrass ecosystem and associated depressional wetlands and riparian forests. Our goal was to determine which land...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated neighboring plant effects (competition and facilitation)on wiregrass establishment in two frequently encountered restoration situationsof former longleaf pine-wiregrass habitats in the Southeastern United States:longleaf pine plantations and previously cultivated fields. In the plantationexperiment, we specifically examined canopy r...
Article
Full-text available
Regeneration and expansion of Aristida beyrichiana and Aristida stricta (wiregrass) populations in remaining fire-maintained Pinus palustris (longleaf pine) stands of the southeastern United States has become an objective of land managers. Although growing-season fire is required for successful wiregrass seed production, studies examining naturally...
Article
Full-text available
Restoration of the longleaf pine ecosystems of the southeastern United States has focused interest on the regeneration and establishment of Aristida sp. (wiregrass) as a means to reestablish ecological function and structure of the ecosystem. This study examined dispersal distance from planted adults and canopy cover and density effects on establis...
Article
Full-text available
Executive Summary Restoration and silvicultural approaches that most successfully sustain native biodiversity are those that integrate concepts of ecosystem responses to natural disturbances. A natural disturbance model for management assumes that species have evolved to local environmental conditions and a particular disturbance regime, such that...
Article
Full-text available
The fire-dependent longleaf pine-wiregrass (Pinus palustris Mill.-Aristida beyrichiana Trin. & Rupr.) savannas of the southeastern United States provide a unique opportunity to examine the relationship between productivity and species richness in a natural ecosystem because of the extremely high number of species and their range across a wide ecolo...
Article
Full-text available
The most common forestland classification techniques applied in the southeastern United States are vegetation-based. While not completely ignored, the application of multifactor, hierarchical ecosystem classifications are limited despite their widespread use in other regions of the eastern United States. We present one of the few truly integrated e...
Article
Full-text available
We examined the host-preference and optimal hosts of the federally endangered hemiparasite, Schwalbea americana L. We also determined the effects of four fertilizer treatments ($NO_3\!\!-\!\!140ppmN, \>NO_3\!\!-\!\!280ppmN,\>NH_4\!\!-\!\!140ppmN$, and NH4- 280ppmN) on the formation of haustoria of S. americana to two of these host species, Panicum...
Article
Full-text available
When wetland restoration includes re-establishing native plant taxa as an objective, an understanding of the variables driving the development of plant communities is necessary. With this in mind, we examined soil and physiographic characterstics of depressional wetlands of three vegetation types (cypressgum swamps, cypress savannas, and grass-sedg...
Article
Full-text available
Reestablishing native plant communities is an important focus of ecosystem restoration. In complex landscapes containing a diversity of ecosystem types, restoration requires a set of reference vegetation conditions for the ecosystems of concern, and a predictive model to relate plant community composition to physical variables. Restoration also req...