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Title: Reintroducing fire to the oak forests of Pennsylvania: response of striped maple

Author: Brose, Patrick H.; Miller, Gary W.; Gottschalk, Kurt W.

Year: 2007

Publication: In: Powers, Robert F., tech. editor. Restoring fire-adapted ecosystems: proceedings of the 2005 national silviculture workshop. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-203, Albany, CA: Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture: p. 67-77

Abstract: We studied the role of fire exclusion in the formation of striped maple (Acer pensylvanicum) understories in mixed oak (Quercus spp.) forests of Pennsylvania and the response of this species to the reintroduction of fire. Prescribed fires were applied to parts of three mixed oak stands and data from the burned and unburned portions were compared. Increment cores and basal cross sections were collected from the unburned portions to document the dates when the different species had regenerated. In all three stands, the striped maple understories originated in the 1950s and 1960s when fire was no longer a disturbance. The prescribed fires initially reduced density of striped maple by 25 to 50 percent with delayed mortality increasing this rate to more than 80 percent. These data suggest that prescribed fire could be a viable means of controlling striped maple in mixed oak forests.

Last Modified: 10/29/2010

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