A preliminary model of yellow-poplar seedling establishment two years after a growing season prescribed fire in southern Appalachian oak standsThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Factors affecting the density and distribution of yellow-poplar regeneration after a single growing season prescribed fire were studied in mature upland oak stands in the southern Appalachian Mountains. In burned and unburned stands, density of one and two year old yellow-poplar seedlings was inventoried within 50 m from isolated yellow-poplar canopy seed trees in response to distance from seed source, litter layer present and competition by other species. Yellow-poplar regeneration was absent on the forest floor in unburned stands, but averaged over 97 thousand seedlings/ha around seed trees in burned stands. Correlation analysis indicated yellow-poplar seedling density decreased with increasing leaf litter on the forest floor, increasing distance from the source seed tree and increasing competition by seedlings of other species. A parsimonious Poisson regression model using Akaike Information Criterion for variable selection included (in order of relative importance) percent forest floor covered by leaf litter and distance from the seed source. Results of this study suggest that prescribed fire may promote establishment of yellow-poplar regeneration where seed trees are a component of upland oak stands.