Protection, restoration, and management of longleaf forests benefit many wildlife species while providing hunting, birding, hiking and other recreational opportunities to landowners. Longleaf pine forests can sustain a host of plants and wildlife. Good wildlife habitat begins on the forest floor with the understory.
Early successional understory plants, maintained by periodic fire, support diverse wildlife habitat for birds, mammals, insects, reptiles and amphibians.
Plant Diversity: Much of the diversity in longleaf ecosystems comes from the abundant plant life found on the forest floor. Many of these species are rare and/or found nowhere else.
Find resources for understory restoration in longleaf pine forests.
Wildlife habitat: Native understory cover, maintained by periodic fire, support diverse wildlife populations. Many species prefer open, grassy habitat of longleaf pine ecosystems, including:
Fire: Native understory plants provide fine fuels that are necessary to carry fire across the forest floor. Fire in turn helps maintain open conditions needed by many native plants.
Additional wildlife resources: