Long-Term Effects of Season of Prescribed Burn on the Fine-Root Growth, Root Carbohydrates, and Foliar Dynamics of Mature Longleaf PineThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Depending on the season and intensity of fire, as well as the phenology of foliage and new root growth, fire may damage foliage, and subsequently decrease whole-crown carbon fixation and allocation to the root system. In central Louisiana the authors investigated how season of prescribed burning affects fine-root dynamics, root carbohydrate relations, and leaf area production in 45-year-old longleaf pine. After achieving a steady state, fine-root production was greater in plots burned in March and May than in those burned in July. In both 1998 and 2000, root starch metabolism was lower on plots burned in July than on those burned in May. Month of biennial prescribed fire did not appear to affect leaf area production. However, foliar magnesium concentration was greater in plots burned in March and May than in those burned in July. These results indicate that additional mechanisms of reduced root growth in response to repeated burning are possible. The authors speculate that on this study site, season of prescribed burn influenced root growth by affecting mineral nutrition and root carbohydrate metabolism.