Prescribed fire effects on oak woodland advance regeneration at the prairie–forest border in Kansas, USA
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Canadian Journal of Forest Research
Understanding the effects of fire on advance regeneration of oak (Quercus L.) species and their competitors is an important step in determining the role of prescribed fire in regenerating and restoring upland oak ecosystems. Our study aimed to understand how dormant-season prescribed fire affects advance regeneration of chinkapin oak (Quercus muehlenbergii Engelm.), black oak (Quercus velutina Lam.), and their major competitors at sites targeted for woodland restoration and management. We analyzed relationships between stem size and survival probability; determined the effect of fire temperature on survival probability; and compared how mortality, sprouting, and survival differed among species. For chinkapin oak, black oak, and bitternut hickory (Carya cordiformis (Wangenh.) K. Koch), mortality was low and rate of sprouting was high after shoot dieback. Initial basal diameter was significantly related to survival probability after one fire for all species except chinkapin oak and black oak. Height was a significant predictor of survival probability for all species except chinkapin oak. Although sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.) also responded to fire by sprouting, it did so at a much lower rate than oaks and hickory (20% versus 43%–68%). These data reveal that heavily invaded, fire-suppressed woodlands on the prairie–forest border region may not experience major structural and compositional shifts without repeated burning or mechanical treatments.
Short, Mary F.; Stambaugh, Michael C.; Dey, Daniel C. 2019. Prescribed fire effects on oak woodland advance regeneration at the prairie–forest border in Kansas, USA. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 110: 1570-1579. https://doi.org/10.1139/cjfr-2019-0065.