Effects of Simultaneous Draining and Brush Cutting on a Sarracenia L. Population in a Southeastern North Carolina Pocosin


Donald E. Schnell

Additional Authors:


September – 1982


Sarracenia, Draining, Cutting, Bush, North Carolina, Pocosin

The cutting, burning and ditching of a very large pocosin in southeastern North Carolina for the purpose of silviculture afforded the opportunity to observe the response of three species of <em>Sarracenia</em> growing in the dense brush. Prior to disturbance (the last fire was some twenty years previously), pitcher plants were growing poorly but maintained a presence. Subsequent to clearing, the immediate effects of increased light and decreased aerial competition became apparent with an exuberant growth release wherein the Sarracenias became dominant and there was an increase in seedling activity. The effects of ditching lagged and the soil did not begin to dry for one to two years after clearing at which time Sarracenias promptly decreased, even though shrub sprouting had not recurred sufficiently to provide significant competition. The events in this pocosin are compared to reports of savanna burnings, and the possible significance of burning the cut brush of the pocosin after drying is discussed along with various previous and current soil analyses. It is concluded that the effects of mechanical clearing followed by decreasing hydration were probably the most important factors involved in <em>Sarracenia</em> reaction.