Synthesis of the effects of fire on Southern Appalachian faunaThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
We reviewed the effects of prescribed fire on wildlife in the southern Appalachian Mountains and placed our results in the context of regional, national, and global studies.We conducted a Web search of peer-reviewed literature and technical reports to evaluate the number of prescribed fire studies pertaining to geographical regions and taxonomic groups. We obtained 717 relevant, unique studies, the majority of which were from North America (n=513). The most studied taxonomic group globally was birds (n=244).Within the United States, most studies occured in the Southeast region (n=179), including 21 in the southern Appalachians. All southern Appalachian studies with wildlife as dependent variable were of prescribed fire. Our review of the papers specific to the southern Appalachians revealed no strong signals. The lack of strong signals that can be generalized across taxa or ecosystems may be due to the limited number of studies and their short-term, localized, and/or species-centric character. By focusing new research at multiple spatiotemporal scales, we may gain powerful, multi-scale inference.