Skip to Main Content
Refining the oak-fire hypothesis for management of oak-dominated forests of the eastern United StatesAuthor(s): Mary A. Arthur; Heather D. Alexander; Daniel C. Dey; Callie J. Schweitzer; David L. Loftis
Source: Journal of Forestry. July/August: 257-266.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Northern Research Station
PDF: View PDF (298.04 KB)
DescriptionPrescribed fires are increasingly implemented throughout eastern deciduous forests to accomplish various management objectives, including maintenance of oak-dominated (Quercus spp.) forests. Despite a regional research-based understanding of prehistoric and historic fire regimes, a parallel understanding of contemporary fire use to preserve oak forests is only emerging, and with somewhat inconsistent results. For prescribed fires to be effective, they must positively influence oak regeneration at one or more critical life stages: pollination, flowering, seed set, germination, establishment, seedling development, and release into the canopy. We posit that a simplistic view of the relationship between fire and oak forests has led to a departure from an ecologically based management approach with prescribed fire. Here, we call for a refinement in our thinking to improve the match between management tools and objectives and provide some guidelines for thinking more ecologically about when and where to apply fire on the landscape to sustain oak-dominated forests.
- Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
- During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
- Please contact Sharon Hobrla, firstname.lastname@example.org if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationArthur, Mary A.; Alexander, Heather D.; Dey, Daniel C.; Schweitzer, Callie J.; Loftis, David L. 2012. Refining the oak-fire hypothesis for management of oak-dominated forests of the eastern United States. Journal of Forestry. 110(5): 257-266.
Keywordsoak-fire hypothesis, oak regeneration, forest management, oak ecology, prescribed fire
- Proceedings of the seventh California oak symposium: managing oak woodlands in a dynamic world
- Sustaining oak forests in eastern North America: regeneration and recruitment, the pillars of sustainability
- Oak mortality associated with crown dieback and oak borer attack in the Ozark Highlands
XML: View XML