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Long-term effects of biennial prescribed fires on the growth of longleaf pineAuthor(s): William D. Boyer
Source: In: Moser, W. Keith; Moser, Cynthia E., eds. Fire and forest ecology: innovative silviculture and vegetation management. Tall Timbers Fire Ecology Conference Proceedings, No. 21. Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 18-21
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
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DescriptionThe effects of several hardwood control treatments on understory succession and overstory growth have been followed for 22 years on a Coastal Plain site in southwest Alabama. The study began in 1973, with 12 treatment combinations in 14-year-old naturally established longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) thinned to about 1,236 stems per hectare (500 stems per acre). Four burning treatments, namely biennial burns in winter, spring, and summer, plus an unburned check, were each combined with 3 supplemental hardwood control treatments: an initial chemical injection of all hardwoods, periodic cutting of all woody stems, and no treatment. Pine stands were thinned to 16 square meters basal area per hectare (70 square feet per acre) in 1990. All measures of pine growth were significantly reduced by burning. By 1995, the volume yield of 257 cubic meters per hectare (3,675 cubic feet per acre) on unburned plots significantly exceeded the average yield of 210 cubic meters per hectare (2,996 cubic feet per acre) for the 3 burning treatments, which did not differ significantly among themselves. The significant effect of fire on pine diameter and height growth did not extend beyond age 24, although effects on basal area and volume growth continued to age 30, when plots were thinned. Volume, but not basal area, growth from age 33 to age 36 was once again significantly greater on unburned than burned plots. Supplemental treatments have not yet affected pine volume growth.
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CitationBoyer, William D. 2000. Long-term effects of biennial prescribed fires on the growth of longleaf pine. In: Moser, W. Keith; Moser, Cynthia E., eds. Fire and forest ecology: innovative silviculture and vegetation management. Tall Timbers Fire Ecology Conference Proceedings, No. 21. Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 18-21
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