Fuel loading and fire intensity-effects on longleaf pine seedling survivalThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Modeling silvicultural practices after natural disturbance, with a particular focus on the use of fire and small canopy openings, may be particularly appropriate in longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) woodlands managed for multiple age classes and over long time scales. However, information about the effects of litter accumulation and fire temperatures on longleaf seedlings is inconsistent. This study examined the effects of season of burn, pine litter loading, and subsequent fire intensity on survival and growth of longleaf seedlings. For both fire seasons, mortality increased over time and was highest for the smallest grass stage seedlings and in the high litter treatment. Litter levels affected fire intensity but had relatively minor effects on subsequent growth of surviving seedlings, but season of burn did affect seedling mortality. The grass and herbaceous fuels of the low litter treatment did not burn during either season, indicating the importance of pine needles for fuel.