Silviculture to restore oak woodlands and savannasThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
We present a perspective on how to approach developing silvicultural prescriptions for restoring oak woodlands and savannas. A large degree of success depends on selecting appropriate sites for restoration. We discuss historical landscape ecology, fire history, detecting legacies of woodland/savanna structure, and models of historical vegetation surveys. Ultimately, site selection for restoration is determined by integrated management goals and objectives. We discuss silvicultural practices for restoration including prescribed burning and thinning by mechanical or chemical methods or timber harvesting. We provide an overview of fire effects on vegetation and stress how the timing and sequencing of the various practices can be used flexibly depending on site restrictions, initial vegetation condition, and threats such as invasive species. We review various fire regime attributes that managers can control in moving the vegetation toward the desired future condition. We conclude by giving a perspective on developing the restoration prescription using a holistic, integrated resource management approach.