The national fire and fire surrogate study: vegetation changes over 11 years of fuel reduction treatments in the southern Appalachian Mountains

  • Authors: Waldrop, Thomas A.; Mohr, Helen H.; Phillips, Ross J.; Simon, Dean M.
  • Publication Year: 2014
  • Publication Series: Proceedings - Paper (PR-P)
  • Source: In: Waldrop, Thomas A., ed. Proceedings, Wildland fire in the Appalachians: Discussions among managers and scientists. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-199. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Southern Research Station.

Abstract

At the Appalachian site of the National Fire and Fire Surrogate Study, prescribed burning was repeated three times and chainsaw felling of shrubs was done twice between 2002 and 2012. Goals were to reduce fuel loading and to promote restoration of an open woodland community. Chainsaw felling created a vertical fuel break, but the effect was temporary, and no restoration goals for other vegetation were achieved. Prescribed burning opened the canopy only slightly and supported graminoids and oak regeneration for a short time after each burn. The combination of mechanical and burning treatments provided open canopies and removed the shrub layer. Graminoid cover increased and oak regeneration was abundant the year after treatment, but both decreased as sprouts of competing shrubs and trees overtopped them. The burn-only and mechanical-plus-burn treatments show promise for eventually creating an open woodland community. However, treatments may need to be repeated numerous times to reach that goal.

  • Citation: Waldrop, Thomas A.; Mohr, Helen H.; Phillips, Ross J.; Simon, Dean M. 2014. The national fire and fire surrogate study: vegetation changes over 11 years of fuel reduction treatments in the southern Appalachian Mountains. In: Waldrop, Thomas A., ed. Proceedings, Wildland fire in the Appalachians: Discussions among managers and scientists. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-199. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Southern Research Station. Pgs. 34-41. 8 p.
  • Posted Date: August 12, 2015
  • Modified Date: August 26, 2015
  • Print Publications Are No Longer Available

    In an ongoing effort to be fiscally responsible, the Southern Research Station (SRS) will no longer produce and distribute hard copies of our publications. Many SRS publications are available at cost via the Government Printing Office (GPO). Electronic versions of publications may be downloaded, printed, and distributed.

    Publication Notes

    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
    • Our online publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact the SRS webmaster if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • To view this article, download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.