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Title: Prescribed fire and oak sapling physiology, demography, and folivore damage in an Ozark woodland

Author: Wait, D. Alexander; Aubrey, Douglas P.;

Date: 2014

Source: In: Groninger, John W.; Holzmueller, Eric J.; Nielsen, Clayton K.; Dey, Daniel C., eds. Proceedings, 19th Central Hardwood Forest Conference; 2014 March 10-12; Carbondale, IL. General Technical Report NRS-P-142. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 109-121.

Publication Series: Paper (invited, offered, keynote)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: Prescribed fire is a tool in wildlife management for restoring and maintaining midwestern oak woodlands. The success of some of the wildlife management objectives depends upon opening the canopy, new oak (Quercus spp.) saplings entering the canopy, and removal of cedar (Juniperus virginiana L.). We examined population characteristics of oak saplings based on changes in canopy light penetration, gas exchange, abiotic environment, and folivory. After 60 years of fire suppression, one portion of the study area was initially burned in 1980 (continuously burned), another portion was initially burned in 1999 (recently burned), and a third portion is still unburned (unburned). Fire opened the canopy from 6 percent in the unburned area to 8 percent and 40 percent in the recently burned and continuously burned areas. Saplings from the white oak group and red oak group responded to increased light availability with higher net photosynthetic rates. The resprouting ability of all oaks resulted in low mortality. Cedar mortality and recruitment were higher in burned than unburned areas. Sapling foliar area and total folivory was greater in burned than in unburned areas. Our data suggest reasons why, under the current biennial fire regime, potential oak canopy recruits will likely remain as large multistemmed sprouts and fail to enter the canopy.

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Citation:


Wait, D. Alexander; Aubrey, Douglas P. 2014. Prescribed fire and oak sapling physiology, demography, and folivore damage in an Ozark woodland. In: Groninger, John W.; Holzmueller, Eric J.; Nielsen, Clayton K.; Dey, Daniel C., eds. Proceedings, 19th Central Hardwood Forest Conference; 2014 March 10-12; Carbondale, IL. General Technical Report NRS-P-142. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 109-121.

 


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