You are here: Home
/ Publication Information
Title: Fire history from three species on a central Appalachian ridgetop
Author: Hessl, Amy E.; Saladyga, Tom; Schuler, Thomas; Clark, Peter; Wixom, Joshua.;
Source: Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 41: 2031-2039.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Description: The impact of settlement era fires on Appalachian forests was substantial, but whether these fires affected the extent of fire-adapted ridgetop plant communities is poorly understood. Here we present fire history and stand structure of an Appalachian ridgetop (Pike Knob, West Virginia) based on fire scars from three species (Pinus pungens Lamb., Pinus resinosa Soland., and Quercus rubra L.) and stand structure from two species (P. pungens and P. resinosa). Our research objectives are to determine (i) the degree to which the fire frequency on Pike Knob was affected by European American settlement (~1780-1900) and (ii) how the history of fire on Pike Knob shaped the current age structure of P. resinosa and P. pungens. All three species documented fire activity beginning in the mid- to late 1800s and continuing into the middle of the 20th century, when pasture lands were most active. The majority of P. pungens and P. resinosa established during or shortly after the ~85-year period of fires (1868-1953), suggesting a strong influence of past land use on current forest composition. Ridgetop pine communities have been resilient to both the absence of fire and frequent fire, indicating that pine communities will also be resilient to modern fire management, whether fire is excluded or re-introduced.
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
- This publication may be available in hard copy. Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact Sharon Hobrla, firstname.lastname@example.org if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
XML: View XML
Hessl, Amy E.; Saladyga, Tom; Schuler, Thomas; Clark, Peter; Wixom, Joshua. 2011. Fire history from three species on a central Appalachian ridgetop. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 41: 2031-2039.
Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility