Skip to Main Content
Impacts of repeated wildfire on long-unburned plant communities of the southern Appalachian MountainsAuthor(s): Donald L. Hagan; Thomas A. Waldrop; Matthew Reilly; Timothy M. Shearman
Source: International Journal of Wildland Fire. 24, 911-920
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Southern Research Station
View PDF (661.51 KB)
DescriptionThe infrequent occurrence of large wildfires in the southern Appalachian Mountains over the last several decades has offered few opportunities to study their impacts. From 2000 to 2008, five wildfires burned a large portion of the area in and surrounding the Linville Gorge Wilderness in North Carolina. Areas were burned either once or twice. The response of acid cove and thermic oak plant communities (structure, cover, richness, diversity) was measured in 78 vegetation monitoring plots, established in 1992 and remeasured in 2010–11. Fire altered forest structure in both communities, resulting in the mortality of larger trees and increases in the abundance of smaller (,5 cmdiameter at breast height (DBH)) stems. Burning twice decreased stem counts for mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) in both communities, whereas oaks (Quercus spp.) responded positively to burning twice in the thermic oak community. Table Mountain pine stem counts increased in acid cove and thermic oak communities burned once. Fire appears to promote princesstree (Paulownia tomentosa) invasion. Herbaceous species cover responded positively to fire (once or twice; both communities), with concurrent increases in woody species richness and diversity. Tree species composition in acid cove plots was not affected by burning, although some slight changes occurred in thermic oak plots burned twice
- You may send email to email@example.com to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- 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.
CitationHagan, Donald L.; Waldrop, Thomas A.; Reilly, Matthew; Shearman, Timothy M. 2015. Impacts of repeated wildfire on long-unburned plant communities of the southern Appalachian Mountains. International Journal of Wildland Fire. 24, 911-920 10 p. http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/WF14143
Keywordsclimate change, ecosystems, fire frequency, fire management
- An ecologically based approach to oak silviculture: a synthesis of 50 years of oak ecosystem research in North America
- Estimating site index from tree species composition in mixed stands of upland eastern hardwoods: Should shrubs be included?
- Origin, development, and impact of mountain laurel thickets on the mixed-oak forests of the central Appalachian Mountains, USA
XML: View XML