Experimental Restoration of Torrey Pines in Response to Large-Scale Stand Dieback

Christa Horn, Katie Heineman, Darren Smith, Joyce Maschinski, Cara Stafford, Sheri Smith, Kim Corella

The Torrey pine (Pinus torreyana ssp. torreyana), a rare G1 ranked and IUCN Red Listed pine, has its largest population in the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. However, this population has seen die off in recent years due to a combination of drought and bark beetle infestation – a scenario likely to increase in the light of climate change. San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance staff are working with partners from the California Department of Parks and Recreation, CalFIRE, and the U.S. Forest Service to develop a long-term plan to manage the population. This management plan includes reforestation efforts, tree growth monitoring, species distribution modeling, and adjustments to the current beetle-monitoring program. Factors influencing seedling establishment are the focus of an experimental restoration effort currently underway.