Prescribed fire alone and in combination with thinning were accomplished in late 2000 to spring 2001 at Zaleski State Forest in southern Ohio. Sites were monitored before and after the treatments were applied. Light was assessed via hemispherical photographs taken in July 2000 and 2001. Oak and hickory seedlings and saplings were sampled during those same time periods. Soil moisture was monitored eight times in 2001 via time-domain-reflectometry (TDR). Air temperature was recorded every 2 seconds during the fires, and soil temperature was recorded hourly in the months following the fires. These data allow us to evaluate, in concert with the landscape moisture patterns: (1) aspects of fire behavior, and (2) effects of the thinning and burning on soil moisture and temperature, light, and vegetation. The thin-and-burn treatment, relative to the control, generally resulted in more light, higher soil moisture, higher seasonal soil temperatures, but no short-term effects on oak-hickory regeneration. The integrated moisture index (IMI), a GIS-derived index categorizing landscape into three moisture regimes, was related to many of the measured variables: sites modeled as topographically wetter had more soil moisture, lower fire and seasonal soil temperatures, less light penetration, and less oak and hickory regeneration.
Iverson, Louis; Prasad, Anantha; Hutchinson, Todd; Rebbeck, Joanne; Yaussy, Daniel A. 2004. Fire and Thinning in an Ohio Oak Forest: Grid-Based Analyses of Fire Behavior, Environmental Conditions, and Tree Regeneration Across a Topographic Moisture Gradient. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-73. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pp. 190-197