Study

Vegetation dynamics after a prescribed fire in the southern Appalachians

  • Published source details Elliott K.J., Hendrick R.L., Major A.E., Vose J.M. & Swank W.T. (1999) Vegetation dynamics after a prescribed fire in the southern Appalachians. Forest Ecology and Management, 114, 199-213.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use prescribed fire: effects on mature trees

Action Link
Forest Conservation

Use prescribed fire: effects on young trees

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Forest Conservation

Use prescribed fire: effect on understory plants

Action Link
Forest Conservation
  1. Use prescribed fire: effects on mature trees

    A before-and-after trial in 1994-1995 in temperate mixed forest in North Carolina, USA (Elliott et al. 1999) found that prescribed fire decreased the density and diversity of canopy trees in one of three locations. In one site located on top of the ridge density of trees >5 cm diameter at breast height decreased after burning (before: 1,545; after: 913/ha) as well as their diversity (Shannon's H before: 1.92; after: 1.73). In two other sites located in the middle of the slope and next to the stream tree density remained similar (before: 1,167-1,448; after: 1,117-1,365/ha) as well as their diversity (Shannon's indexbefore: 1.85-2.25; after: 1.81-2.26). Data were collected before (1994) and after prescribed-burning (1995) in six plots (15 × 15 m) at one location (top of the ridge) and in three similar plots at two other locations (middle of the slope and close to the stream) and in additional 20 plots (10 × 10 m) after burning.

     

  2. Use prescribed fire: effects on young trees

    A before-and-after trial in 1994-1995 in temperate mixed forest in North Carolina, USA (Elliott et al. 1999) found that prescribed fire had mixed effects on the density and diversity of young trees in three study sites. In a site located on top of the ridge density of young trees <5 cm diameter at breast height decreased after burning (before: 12,178; after: 409/ha) while their diversity remained similar (Shannon’s index before: 1.24; after: 1.27. In a second site located in middle of the slope density of young trees increased (before: 851; after: 1,556/ha) while diversity decreased (Shannon’s index before: 1.52; after: 0.54). In a third site located close to the stream density (before: 2,153; after: 2,652/ha) and diversity (Shannon’s index before: 2.15; after: 2.40) remained similar after burning. Data was collected before (1994) and after prescribed-burning (1995) in six plots (15 × 15 m) at one location (top of the ridge) and in three similar plots at two other locations (middle of the slope and close to the stream) and in additional 20 plots (10 × 10 m) after burning.

     

  3. Use prescribed fire: effect on understory plants

    A before-and-after trial in 1994-1995 in temperate mixed forest in North Carolina, USA (Elliott et al. 1999) found that prescribed fire increased herbaceous species diversity, and decreased herbs cover. Cover of the herbaceous layer (all herbaceous species plus woody stems <1.0 cm basal diameter) decreased (before: 36; after: 11%) while diversity of the herb-lair increased (Shannon’s H before: 1.01; after: 2.14). Data were collected before (1994) and after prescribed-burning (1995) in six plots (15 × 15 m) and in additional 20 plots (10 × 10 m) after burning.

     

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