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Prescribed burning for understory restorationAuthor(s): Kenneth W. Outcalt
Source: In: Shibu, Jose; Jokela, Eric J.; Miller, Deborah L., eds. The longleaf pine ecosystem: Ecology, silviculture, and restoration. New York, NY: Springer: 326-329.
Publication Series: Book Chapter
Station: Southern Research Station
PDF: Download Publication (1.56 MB)
DescriptionBecause the longleaf ecosystem evolved with and is adapted to frequent fire, every 2 to 8 years, prescribed burning is often useful for restoring understory communities to a diverse ground layer of grasses, herbs, and small shrubs. This restoration provides habitat for a number of plant and animal species that are restricted to or found mostly in longleaf pine communities. Burning can also be used to reduce the midstory layer, which catches shed needles and serves as a ladder to carry understory fires into the crowns of the trees resulting in catastrophic wildfires that can kill vast areas of pines. Prescribed burning also recycles nutrients by releasing those tied up in litter and duff and significantly reduces brown spot needle blight, which attacks longleaf seedlings.
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CitationOutcalt, Kenneth W. 2006. Prescribed burning for understory restoration. In: Shibu, Jose; Jokela, Eric J.; Miller, Deborah L., eds. The longleaf pine ecosystem: Ecology, silviculture, and restoration. New York, NY: Springer: 326-329. p. 4
Keywordslongleaf pine, Pinus palustris, understory, prescribed fire, restoration
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