Regeneration dynamics during oak decline with prescribed fire in the Boston Mountains of ArkansasThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Northern red oak (Quercus rubra L.) seedlings were inventoried in 2000 and again in 2005 to better understand survival of advance regeneration during oak decline. In 2000, basal stem diameter was measured and recorded for 861 individually tagged seedlings that were <5 cm d.b.h. By mid-2001, the stand containing these seedlings began to exhibit symptoms of severe oak decline. In 2004, a prescribed fire was applied to one-third of the study area. Based on logistic regression analysis, survival probability of northern red oak increased with increasing initial basal stem diameter and decreasing site index. In unburned areas, greatest mortality occurred on seedlings with basal stem diameters <7 mm. However, in burned areas, seedlings <12 mm exhibited the greatest mortality. This information can aid managers in developing prescriptions that help mitigate the impacts of oak decline by promoting practices that maximize oak regeneration to basal stem diameters >7 mm in areas not burned and to diameters >12 mm in areas to be burned.