How does fire affect longleaf pine roots carbohydrates, foliar nutrients, and sapling growth?This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
In central Louisiana, we conducted a prescribed-fire study in a 5-year-old longleaf pine (Pinus palustris P. Mill.) stand to evaluate the effects of fire on fine-root (2- to 5-mm diameter) carbohydrates, dormant season foliar nutrients, and sapling growth. Control, burn, and nonburned vegetation control treatments were studied using a randomized complete block design with five blocks. Prescribe fire was applied in May 2003. Root starch concentration was significantly lower and root glucose concentration significantly greater in the burned plots than in control and nonburned plots 1 month after treatment. Foliar potassium concentration was significantly greater after treatment in the burned plots compared to control and nonburned plots. Annual groundline diameter growth was also significantly greater in the burned plots than in the control plots. Our data suggest that fire shifts root carbohydrate and foliar potassium concentrations of longleaf pine saplings to restore leaf area and/or strengthen the tree stem.