History, Uses, and Effects of Fire in the Appalachians

  • Authors: van Lear, David H.; Waldrop, Thomas A.
  • Publication Year: 1989
  • Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
  • Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. SE-54. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southeastern Forest Experiment Station. 20 p.
  • DOI: 10.2737/SE-GTR-54

Abstract

History of Fire in the Southern Appalachians Ecological and meteorological evidence suggests that lightning-caused fires were a major environmental force shaping the vegetation of the Southeastern United States for millions of years before Indians arrived in America. Lightning served as a mutagenic agent and as a factor in natural selection which forced species to adapt or perish. Before man, fires caused by lightning created and maintained the pine-grasslands of the Southeast, as well as influenced the broad, adjacent ecotones which included hard-wood vegetation (Komarek 1965, 1974).

  • Citation: van Lear, David H.; Waldrop, Thomas A. 1989. History, Uses, and Effects of Fire in the Appalachians. Gen. Tech. Rep. SE-54. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southeastern Forest Experiment Station. 20 p.
  • Posted Date: January 1, 2000
  • Modified Date: August 22, 2006
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