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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Role of burning season on initial understory vegetation response to prescribed fire in a mixed conifer forest

Published source details

Knapp E.E., Schwilk D.W., Kane J.M. & Keeley J.E. (2006) Role of burning season on initial understory vegetation response to prescribed fire in a mixed conifer forest. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 37, 11-22


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Use prescribed fire: effect on understory plants Forest Conservation

A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2001-2004 in temperate coniferous forest in California, USA (Knapp et al. 2007) found no effect of prescribed fire on cover and species richness of understory vegetation. Total plant cover increased by 0.6% in unburned compared with 0.8% in early- and 2.0% in late-burned plots. Numbers of species/1 m2 increased by 0.12 in unburned compared with a 0.34 increase in early and a 0.03 decrease in late burned plots. Numbers of species/0.1 ha decreased by 0.7 in unburned compared with increases of 6.0 in early- and 6.6 in late-burned plots. Data were collected in 2004 in ten plots (0.1 ha) that were established in each of three unburned, three early-burned (June 2002) and three late-burned (September-October 2001) randomly assigned treatment units (15-20 ha).