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

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Thin trees within forests: effects on young trees

Action Link
Forest Conservation

Thin trees within forests: effects on understory plants

Action Link
Forest Conservation

Use prescribed fire: effect on understory plants

Action Link
Forest Conservation
  1. Thin trees within forests: effects on young trees

    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.

     

  2. Thin trees within forests: effects on understory plants

    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.

     

  3. Use prescribed fire: effect on understory plants

    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.

     

Output references

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, terrestrial mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 18

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.


Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust