Publication Details

Patterns of overstory mortality in a shelterwood- burn central Appalachian forest

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Year Published

2018

Publication

In: Kirschman, Julia E.; Johnsen, Kurt, comps. 2018. Proceedings of the 19th biennial southern silvicultural research conference. e–Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS–234. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station.

Abstract

Prescribed fire is a tool used to regenerate and sustain mixed-oak forests in the central Appalachian region. Two specific applications for prescribed fire are site preparation and the reduction of oak competition after the first removal cut in a shelterwood. This latter use is called the shelterwood-burn method. However, prescribed fire presents additional mortality risk to the stand’s overstory trees. In a shelterwood-burn study on the Fernow Experimental Forest in West Virginia, three individual tree factors—species, crown class, and dbh— and three stand manipulation treatments were examined to determine their effects on overstory tree mortality from both background and fire induced causes. A shelterwood treatment and a shelterwood-burn treatment, both site-prepared with prescribed fire, had significant differences in combined background and fire mortality when compared to an unburned, uncut control. Considering fire mortality alone, there was no difference in survival rates between the shelterwood and the shelterwood-burn treatments over the entire study period. Tree diameter influenced both natural mortality and fire-induced mortality. Crown class, species, and treatment were factors in background mortality only.

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Citation

Brown, John P.; Wiedenbeck, Janice K.; Schuler, Thomas M.; Thomas- Van Gundy, Melissa A. 2018. Patterns of overstory mortality in a shelterwood- burn central Appalachian forest. In: Kirschman, Julia E.; Johnsen, Kurt, comps. 2018. Proceedings of the 19th biennial southern silvicultural research conference. e–Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS–234. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 363-371.

Last updated on: October 1, 2020