Fire Ecology and Management in Eastern Broadleaf and Appalachian Forests

  • Authors: Arthur, Mary A.; Varner, J. Morgan; Lafon, Charles; Alexander, Heather D.; Dey, Daniel C.; Harper, Craig A.; Horn, Sally P.; Hutchinson, Todd F.; Keyser, Tara; Lashley, Marcus A.; Moorman, Christopher E.; Schweitzer, Callie
  • Publication Year: 2021
  • Publication Series: Book Chapter
  • Source: In: Greenberg, Cathryn H.; Collins, Beverly., eds. Fire Ecology and Management: Past, Present, and Future of US Forested Ecosystems. Managing Forest Ecosystems 39/Springer
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-73267-7_4

Abstract

The role of fire in the eastern broadleaf and Appalachian forest regions, until recently, was poorly understood or minimally examined, as this region was long overlooked as a flammable landscape and fire was seen primarily as a threat to the timber resource and wildlife. In the past few decades, a significant body of research has enhanced our understanding of fire and its effects. We now recognize that fire has strongly shaped many ecosystems of this region along complex geo-morphological gradients, and that returning fire, or its absence, has significant con-sequences for forest structure, species composition, and ecosystem function. This chapter synthesizes the state of knowledge regarding the prehistoric and historical roles of fire in these ecosystems; presents research demonstrating the effects of contemporary prescribed fire and wildfire on forest structure, species composition, and consequences for wildlife; examines evidence for shifting flammability of these ecosystems; and discusses the implications for both fire management and ecosystem sustainability in the twenty-first century.

  • Citation: Arthur, Mary A.; Varner, J. Morgan.; Lafon, Charles W.; Alexander, Heather D.; Dey, Daniel C.; Harper, Craig A.; Horn, Sally P.; Hutchinson, Todd F.; Keyser, Tara L.; Lashley, Marcus A.; Moorman, Christopher E.; Schweitzer, Callie J. 2021. Fire Ecology and Management in Eastern Broadleaf and Appalachian Forests. In: Fire Ecology and Management:  Past, Present, and Future of US Forested Ecosystems. Volume 39, Part of the Managing Forest Ecosystems series. Springer. Chapter 4. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-73267-7_4.
  • Keywords: Oak-pine, Woodlands, Savannas, Maple, Anthropogenic fire, Pyrophytic, Mesophication, Prescribed Fire
  • Posted Date: October 19, 2021
  • Modified Date: October 29, 2021
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