Publication Details

A review of fire and oak regeneration and overstory recruitment

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Dey, Daniel C.; Fan, Zhaofei

Year Published

2009

Publication

In: Hutchinson, Todd F., ed. Proceedings of the 3rd fire in eastern oak forests conference; 2008 May 20-22; Carbondale, IL. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-46. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 2-20.

Abstract

Fire has played a prominent role in the history of oak in eastern North America, and it is useful today for promoting oak regeneration where competition with other woody vegetation is a problem and for managing savannas and woodlands. We spent the last century extinguishing wildfire from forests for good reason, but now we must spend some time relearning how to use fire as a tool for sustaining oak-dominated ecosystems. The use of fire to favor oak in forested settings where timber production is a goal is very different from its role in managing savannas and woodlands. Fire as a tool originated in wildlife management and then found application in savanna and woodland restoration. In the past 30 years, there has been increased emphasis on fire in silviculture research and forest management. This paper discusses the use of fire in the context of oak ecology and silviculture with emphasis on promoting oak regeneration and dominance. Highlights include: (1) fire interactions with acorns and oak seedlings, and advance reproduction; (2) fire-induced changes in stand structure and understory and implications for oak regeneration; (3) fire as part of the regeneration prescription; and (4) the role of fire in the process of oak recruitment into the overstory.

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Citation

Dey, Daniel C.; Fan, Zhaofei. 2009. A review of fire and oak regeneration and overstory recruitment. In: Hutchinson, Todd F., ed. Proceedings of the 3rd fire in eastern oak forests conference; 2008 May 20-22; Carbondale, IL. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-46. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 2-20.

Last updated on: July 6, 2009