Fire in Eastern Oak Forests

Fire in Eastern Oak Forests : Delivering Science to Land Managers

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Oaks (Quercus spp.) currently dominate eastern deciduous forests, but are widely percei ed as declining, with regeneration inadequate to perpetuate many stands. Most stands regenerated following fire in the 9th and early 0th centuries, and a lack of recent fire is iewed as contributing to the shortage of sapling and pole-size stands. But paleoecological studies pro ide conflicting e idence for the role of fire in the long-term maintenance of oak forests. Here I describe the methods used in reconstructing past egetation and fire regimes, re iew the results of pre ious studies, and present new results for sites from Virginia to Maine. Oaks ha e dominated mixed mesophytic forests in western Virginia for more than 6,000 years, with sedimentary charcoal le els suggesting a fire regime dominated by infrequent, light surface fires. The arri al of European settlers and a presumed increase in fire acti ity had little effect on oak abundance. At a higher ele ation on more xeric soils, increased fire with settlement caused a shift from oak to pine dominance. On Long Island, NY, oaks ha e dominated xeric soils for thousands of years, but with more fire than in western more

Product details

  • Paperback | 314 pages
  • 215.9 x 279.4 x 18.03mm | 898.11g
  • Createspace
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1508469989
  • 9781508469988