Sprout-Origin Hardwood Reproduction DominatesAfter Multiple Prescribed Fires on the William B.Bankhead National Forest, Alabama
Management problem: Widespread failure of oak regeneration and subsequent loss of the oak
component has been reported across Eurasia and the Americas. The oak regeneration issue
has been linked to changing disturbance regimes, including the lack of fire. Burning used in
combination with stand thinning creates conditions that should be conducive to oak
regeneration establishment and recruitment, including increased understory light and
decreased woody plant competition.
Management need: Managers are using thinning and prescribed fire prescriptions aimed at
restoring hardwood dominance in upland pine-hardwood mixed-woods. While prescribed fire
has been purported to sustain the dominance of oaks, contemporary forests have altered
species composition and structure and responses to these current disturbances are unknown.