Fire and human history of a barren-forest mosaic in Southern Indiana
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The American Midland Naturalist. Volume 149. Issue 1. 2002. pp. 21-34.
The purpose of this paper is to provide quantitative fire history information from a historically unique region, the oak barrens of the Interior Low Plateau Ecoregion. We sampled 27 post oak (Quercus stellata Wangenh.) trees from the Boone Creek watershed in southern Indiana. The period of tree-ring record ranged in calendar years from 1654 to 1999 and fire scar dates (n=84) ranged from 1656 to 1992. The mean fire interval for the period 1656 to 1992 was 8.4 y and individual fire intervals ranged from 1 to 129 y. The average percentage of trees scarred at the site was 19% or about 1 in 5 trees sampled. No significant relationship was identified between fire years and drought conditions however, variability in the fire record coincided with Native American migrations and Euro-American settlement periods. Temporal variability in the fire record illustrates not only the dynamic nature of anthropogenic fire regimes but also the importance of humans in culturing presettlement barrens communities.
Guyette, Richard P.; Dey, Daniel C.; Stambaugh, Michael C. 2002. Fire and human history of a barren-forest mosaic in Southern Indiana. The American Midland Naturalist. Volume 149. Issue 1. 2002. pp. 21-34.