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Vegetative response to 37 years of seasonal burning on a Louisiana longleaf pine siteAuthor(s): James D. Haywood; Finis L. Harris; Harold E. Grelen; Henry A. Pearson
Source: Southern Journal of Applied Forestry. 25(3): 122-130.
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
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DescriptionFrom 1962 through 1998, 20 prescribed bums were applied in a natural stand of longleaf pine(Pinus palustris Mill.) to determine the effects of various fire regimes on the forest plant community. The original longleaf seedlings regenerated from the 1955 seed crop and were growing in a grass-dominated cover when the study began. By 1999, prescribed burning in March and May resulted in a significantly greater stocking of longleaf pine (203 trees/ac) than on the unburned and July-burned treatments (72 trees/ac) (a = 0.05). Fire arrested the growth of natural loblolly pine (P. taeda L.) and hardwoods, but loblolly pines and hardwoods of at least 4 in. d.b.h. added 70 ft 2/ac of basal area on the unburned plots. Thus, total woody basal area was significantly greater on the unburned (117 ft2/ac) and May-burned (132 ft2/ac) treatments than on the July-burned treatment (66 ft2/ac); basal area was intermediate on the March- burned treatment (97 ft 2ac). Pine volume was 4,315; 2, 870; 2,652; and 1,970 ft3inside-bark/ac on the May-burned, March-burned, unburned, and July-burned treatments, respectively, but these differences were not statistically significant (P = 0.06). There were only 11 lb/ac of herbaceous plants on the unburned plots. Herbaceous plants averaged 993 lb/ac on the three burned treatments, with pinehill bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium var. divergens [Hack] Gould) being the most common herbaceous plant. We believe the chief influence of burning in this natural longleaf pine forest was not on pine yield but how fires influenced overall stand structure and species composition.
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CitationHaywood, James D.; Harris, Finis L.; Grelen, Harold E.; Pearson, Henry A. 2001. Vegetative response to 37 years of seasonal burning on a Louisiana longleaf pine site. Southern Journal of Applied Forestry. 25(3): 122-130.
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