Publication Details

Analysis of two pre-shelterwood prescribed fires in a mesic mixed-oak forest in West Virginia

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Year Published

2013

Publication

In: Miller, Gary W.; Schuler, Thomas M.; Gottschalk, Kurt W.; Brooks, John R.; Grushecky, Shawn T.; Spong, Ben D.; Rentch, James S., eds. Proceedings, 18th Central Hardwood Forest Conference; 2012 March 26-28; Morgantown, WV; Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-117. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 430-446.

Abstract

In 2009, a mesic mixed-oak forest in West Virginia treated with two prescribed fires (2002-2003 and 2005) to eliminate a shade-tolerant understory was characterized by 7,500 seedlings/acre ≥1.0 foot tall of oak (Quercus spp.), maple (Acer spp.), black birch (Betula lenta), and yellow-poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) combined. Maple was the most abundant group before burning but thereafter, maple (1,192/acre), oak (1,557/acre), and yellow-poplar (1,597/acre) seedlings ≥1.0 foot were approximately equally represented. Black birch was the single most abundant species (3,337/acre). Following the prescribed fire treatments, sapling density was reduced by about 90 percent and has not recovered. Fire effects to the overstory, canopy, and subsequent understory light environment were not significant, but a shelterwood harvest in 2009-2010 reduced overstory basal area from 145 to 62 feet2/acre and from 108 to 44 stems/acre (diameter at breast height ≥5.0 inches). A post-shelterwood prescribed fire is planned for 2013 or 2014 and will complete the experimental design of this study.

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Citation

Schuler, Thomas M.; Thomas-Van Gundy, Melissa; Adams, Mary Beth; Ford, W. Mark. 2013. Analysis of two pre-shelterwood prescribed fires in a mesic mixed-oak forest in West Virginia. In: Miller, Gary W.; Schuler, Thomas M.; Gottschalk, Kurt W.; Brooks, John R.; Grushecky, Shawn T.; Spong, Ben D.; Rentch, James S., eds. Proceedings, 18th Central Hardwood Forest Conference; 2012 March 26-28; Morgantown, WV; Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-117. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 430-446.

Last updated on: September 19, 2013