Ridgetop fire history of an oak-pine forest in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas
A total of 53 fire-scarred Pinus echinata (shortleaf pine) trees were examined to reconstruct a ridgetop fi re chronology of an oak-pine forest in the Ozark Mountains of north-central Arkansas. This process yielded 104 fire scars dating to 61 separate fire years. Fire frequency was greatest during the Euro-American Settlement Period (1820–1900), when the median fire interval (MFI) was 1.9 years. Most of the sample trees established during this period. Fire remained prevalent through the Regional Development (1901–1930) and Modern (1931–2003) Periods, when the MFI was 2.1 and 2.6 years, respectively. Palmer Drought Severity Index mean values from 1823–2003 did not differ (p = 0.76) between fire years and non-fire years, suggesting that fires in the study area were predominantly anthropogenic in origin.