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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Overstory tree mortality resulting from reintroducing fire to long-unburned longleaf pine forests: the importance of duff moisture

Published source details

Varner III J.M., Hiers J.K., Ottmar R.D., Gordon D.R., Putz F.E. & Wade D.D. (2007) Overstory tree mortality resulting from reintroducing fire to long-unburned longleaf pine forests: the importance of duff moisture. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 37, 1349-1358


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Use prescribed fire: effects on mature trees Forest Conservation

A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2001-2004 in temperate coniferous forest in Florida, USA (Varner III et al. 2007) found that prescribed fire increased longleaf pine Pinus palustris mortality when the leaf litter layer was dry on the day of burn, but not when it was moist. Longleaf pine mortality was higher following burns with dry leaf litter than following the other three treatments (dry litter: 16%; moist litter: 4%; wet litter: 2%; unburned: 0%). In 2001-2002, four treatment plots (10-50 ha) were established at each of four sites: dry, moist and wet leaf litter (55%, 85% and 115% litter moisture content, % of dry mass, on the day of burn) and an unburned control. Data were collected two years after treatments.