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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Changes in vegetation structure and composition in response to fuel reduction treatments in the South Carolina Piedmont

Published source details

Phillips R. & Waldrop T. (2008) Changes in vegetation structure and composition in response to fuel reduction treatments in the South Carolina Piedmont. Forest Ecology and Management, 255, 3107-3116


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

Thin trees within forests: effects on young trees Forest Conservation

A replicated, controlled, before-and-after study in 2000-2004 in Piedmont forest in South Carolina, USA (Phillips & Waldrop 2008) found that thinning increased tree seedling density. Changes in density of tree seedlings <1.4 m tall was higher in thinned plots (thinned: 19,400/ha; unthinned: 8,550/ha). Changes in density of tree saplings >1.4 m tall and <10 cm DBH were similar between treatments (thinned: 515; control: 243). Ten plots (0.1 ha) were established in 2000/2001 in each of three unthinned and three thinned (basal area reduced to 18 m2/ha) treatment units. Data were collected three years after treatment.

 

Thin trees within forests: effects on understory plants Forest Conservation

A replicated, controlled, before-and-after study in 2000-2004 in Piedmont forest in South Carolina, USA (Phillips & Waldrop 2008) found that thinning increased plant species richness. Changes (after minus before treatment) in number of plant species/0.1 ha plot were higher in thinned plots (thinned: 39; unthinned: 32). Changes in cover of shrubs (thinned: 0.27%; unthinned: -0.41%), vines (thinned: 0.09%; unthinned: -2.73%), forbs (thinned: 0.29%; unthinned: 0.22%) and grasses (thinned: 0.52%; control: -0.48%) were similar between treatments. Ten plots (0.1 ha) were established in 2000-2001 in each of three unthinned and three thinned (basal area reduced to 18 m2/ha) treatment units. Data were collected three years after treatment.

 

Use prescribed fire: effect on understory plants Forest Conservation

A replicated, controlled before-and-after study in 2000-2004 in Piedmont forest in South Carolina, USA (Philips & Waldrop 2008) found that prescribed burning decreased the density of tree saplings, but increased the density of seedlings and other plants species richness and cover. The density of tree saplings >1.4 m tall and <10 cm diameter at breast height decreased in burned plots (-175/ha) whereas it increased in unburned plots (243/ha). Increases in tree seedlings <1.4 m tall (burned: 17,850; unburned: 8,550/ha), the cover of vines (burned: 3.2%; unburned: -2.7%), herbaceous species (burned: 2.6%; unburned: -0.2%) and grasses (burned: 3.3%; unburned: -0.5%) and the number of plant species (burned: 41; unburned: 32/0.1 ha) were greater in burned plots. Declines in the cover of shrubs were similar between treatments (burned: -0.03%; unburned: -0.41%). Ten plots (0.1 ha) were established in each of three control (unburned) and three burned (in 2001-2002) treatment units. Data were collected three years after treatment.