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Anthropogenic fire history and red oak forests in south-central OntarioAuthor(s): Daniel C. Dey; Richard P. Guyette
Source: Forestry chronicle. (Mar./Apr) 76(2): 339-347.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: North Central Research Station
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DescriptionThe regeneration and dominance of northern red oak (Quercus rubra L.) has been associated with fire throughout eastern North America. Red oak in central Ontario grows near the northern edge of its distribution in mixed hardwood - coniferous forests under mesic conditions where it competes with more shade-tolerant species. We hypothesized that the abundance of red oak in these stands was largely the result of anthropogenic burning and natural fires, which would favor the regeneration and recruitment of northern red oak over such shade-tolerant species as sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh). Fire histories dating from the mid-1600s were constructed by dendrochronological methods from fire scars on stumps, trees, and natural remnants of red pine (Pinus resinosa Ait.), white pine (Pinus strobus L.), and red oak at six sites in south-central Ontario. Fire histories of the sites are characterized by abrupt changes in fire interval. As much or more variance in fire interval is found within sites as is found among sites. Differences in the mean fire interval among sites are related to the density and migration of historic aboriginal and European populations. The mean fire interval varied from more than 70 years to six years depending on site location and historic period. The occurrence and abundance of red oak is linked to anthropogenic fire regimes.
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CitationDey, Daniel C.; Guyette, Richard P. 2000. Anthropogenic fire history and red oak forests in south-central Ontario. Forestry chronicle. (Mar./Apr) 76(2): 339-347.
Keywordsnorthern red oak, white pine, fire history, ecology, anthropogenic, fire regime, dendrochronology
- Determining fire history from old white pine stumps in an oak-pine forest
- Influence of overstory density on ecophysiology of red oak (Quercus rubra) and sugar maple (Acer saccharum) seedlings in central Ontario shelterwoods
- Early stand development in a red oak-paper birch stand regenerated through the shelterwood system in northern Wisconsin
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