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Clarifying the role of fire in the deciduous forests of eastern North America: reply to MatlackAuthor(s): Michael C. Stambaugh; J. Morgan Varner; Reed F. Noss; Daniel C. Dey; Norman L. Christensen; Robert F. Baldwin; Richard P. Guyette; Brice B. Hanberry; Craig A. Harper; Sam G. Lindblom; Thomas A. Waldrop
Source: Conservation Biology, 29(3): 942-946.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Southern Research Station
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DescriptionFire is an important disturbance in ecosystems across the eastern deciduous forests of North America (Brose et al. 2014). Matlack (2013) provided an interpretation of historical and contemporary fire in this region. Although we applaud Matlack for correcting simplistic assumptions that fire was ubiquitous and all plant communities need to burn regularly to maintain biodiversity, we believe his interpretation of the role of fire is erroneous on several counts. Most problematic is his statement “ . . . it seems prudent to limit the use of prescribed burning east of the prairie-woodland transition zone.” Adherence to this overgeneralized advice would inevitably result in losses of native diversity across the eastern deciduous forest.
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CitationStambaugh, Michael C.; Varner, J. Morgan; Noss, Reed F.; Dey, Daniel C.; Christensen, Norman L.; Baldwin, Robert F.; Guyette, Richard P.; Hanberry, Brice B.; Harper, Craig A.; Lindblom, Sam G.; Waldrop, Thomas A. 2015. Clarifying the role of fire in the deciduous forests of eastern North America: reply to Matlack. Conservation Biology, 29(3): 942-946. 5 p. 10.1111/cobi.12473
- Understanding the evidence for historical fire across eastern forests
- Short-term stem mortality of 10 deciduous broadleaved species following prescribed burning in upland forests of the southern US
- Variation in plant community composition and vegetation carbon pools a decade following a severe fire season in interior Alaska
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