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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Effects of prescribed fire and thinning on tree recruitment patterns in central hardwood forests

Published source details

Albrecht M.A. & McCarthy B.C. (2006) Effects of prescribed fire and thinning on tree recruitment patterns in central hardwood forests. Forest Ecology and Management, 226, 88-103


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Use thinning followed by prescribed fire Forest Conservation

A replicated, controlled study in 2001-2005 in second-growth oak forests in southern Ohio, USA (Albrecht & McCarthy 2006) found that mechanical thinning followed by prescribed fire reduced large sapling density, increased small sapling and large seedling density, but did not affect densities of small seedlings and of oak Quercus spp. saplings. Densities of large seedlings (50-150 cm tall) and small saplings (<3 cm DBH) was higher in thinned and burned (11,000 large seedlings/ha; 3,000 small saplings/ha) than in untreated plots (1,500 large seedlings/ha; 1,000 small saplings/ha). The density of large saplings (3-10 cm DBH) was lower in thinned and burned plots (200 large saplings/ha) than in untreated plots (600 large saplings/ha). The density of small seedlings (<50 cm tall) was similar in thinned and burned (90,000 small seedlings/ha) and in untreated plots (120,000 small seedlings/ha). Three forest areas were divided into treatment units (each approximately 30 ha): untreated, mechanical thinning followed by prescribed fire. Treatments were applied in the inactive season of 2001. Regeneration was sampled in ten 0.1 ha plots/treatment (a total of 40 plots/site) in summer 2004.

 

Thin trees within forests: effects on young trees Forest Conservation

A replicated, controlled study in 2001-2005 in second-growth oak Quercus spp. forests in southern Ohio, USA (Albrecht & McCarthy 2006) found that mechanical thinning reduced small seedling density and increased large seedling and small sapling densities. Density (individuals/ha) of small (<50 cm tall) seedlings was lower in thinned plots (unthinned: 135,000; thinned: 70,000). In contrast, the density of large seedlings (40-150 cm tall) (unthinned: 2,000; thinned: 7,000) and small saplings (<3 cm DBH) (unthinned: 1,000; thinned: 2,400) was higher in thinned plots. Thinning had no effect on density of large saplings (3-10 cm DBH) (unthinned: 600; thinned: 500). Three forest areas were divided into unthinned and thinned (mechanical-thinning) treatment units (30 ha). Treatments were applied in the inactive season of 2001. Regeneration was sampled in ten 0.1 ha plots in each treatment (a total of 40 plots/site) in summer 2004.

 

Use prescribed fire: effects on young trees Forest Conservation

A replicated, controlled study in 2001-2005 in second-growth oak forests in southern Ohio, USA (Albrecht & McCarthy 2006) found that prescribed fire reduced total large sapling density and increased large seedlings density, but not seedlings of oaks Quercus spp. A single prescribed fire reduced large sapling (3-10 cm diameter at breast height) density from 600 to 300 saplings/ha and increased large seedlings (40-150 cm tall) density from 2,000 to 6,000 seedlings/ha. Prescribed fire had no effect on the densities of small seedlings <50 cm tall (control: 135,000; fire: 140,000 seedlings/ha) and small saplings <3 cm diameter at breast height (control: 1,000; fire: 1,050 saplings/ha). A single prescribed fire did not affect densities of oak seedlings. Three forest areas were divided into treatment units (each approximately 30 ha): control and prescribed fire. Treatments were applied in the inactive season of 2001. New tree growth was sampled in ten 0.1 ha plots/treatment (a total of 40 plots/site) in summer 2004.