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Plant succession and community restoration following felling and burning in the Southern Appalachian Mountains


Recent declines in the yellow pine component of pine-hardwood stands in the Southern Appalachian Mountains has prompted managers to increase the use of fire as a silvicultural tool. The fell and burn treatment is designed to remove competing vegetation (hardwoods and mountain laurel [Kalmia latifolia]) to ensure successful establishment of planted eastern white pine (Pinus strobus). Two years after burning, mountain laurel had accumulated more biomass than any other species and accounted for 43 percent of total biomass in year 1 and 20 percent in year 2. By year 4, mountain laurel ranked fifth (8.9 percent of total) in total biomass among hardwood species, behind Allegheny serviceberry (Amalanchier arborea, 14.3 percent), chestnut oak (Quercus prinus, 13.7 percent), red maple (Acer rubrum, 12.4 percent), and scarlet oak (Q. coccinea, 9.3 percent). Across sites, woody species richness ranged from 19 24 in year 1 and 14 22 in year 4. Species richness varied across sites and years, and there were substantial changes in the distribution of biomass among species. The introduction of fire allowed the once dominant pitch pine (P. rigida) to successfully reestablish. On our sites, pine accounted for 25 percent of pretreatment stem density, but

2000

Clinton, Barton D.
Vose, James M.

Miscellaneous Publication

In: Moser, W. Keith; Moser, Cynthia E., eds. Fire and forest ecology: innovative silviculture and vegetation management. Tall Timbers Fire Ecology Conference Proceedings, No. 21. Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 22-29

Clinton, Barton D.; Vose, James M. 2000. Plant succession and community restoration following felling and burning in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. In: Moser, W. Keith; Moser, Cynthia E., eds. Fire and forest ecology: innovative silviculture and vegetation management. Tall Timbers Fire Ecology Conference Proceedings, No. 21. Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 22-29


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