Fire in mountain bogsThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Southern Appalachian montane wetlands are rare natural communities. Distributed throughout the Appalachians��� high-elevation depressions, valley slopes, and basins, a highly variable combination of abiotic factors shape the character of each ���bog.��� Most unaltered bogs are distinguished by a generally open vegetative structure and diverse herbaceous flora, but with a tendency toward succession to forests. Natural disturbances arrest some bogs in early seres. However, anthropogenic influence has increasingly precluded many such disturbance regimes, resulting in uninhibited succession, habitat homogenization, and the gradual demise of the specialized flora and fauna. To restore and maintain some bogs��� naturally open character, land managers such as The Nature Conservancy (TNC) have chosen to mimic disturbance using a variety of methods, including prescribed burning. This paper provides insight into how two TNC-owned sites were historically influenced by fire, presents some of TNC���s experience using prescribed fire in bogs, and describes trends in Green Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia oreophila) abundance as regular fire regimes were restored to the sites.