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Title: Ecological Restoration Through Silviculture--A Savanna Management Demonstration Area, Sinkin Experimental Forest, Missouri

Author: Loewenstein, Edward F.; Davidson, Kenneth R.;

Date: 2002

Source: In: Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-48. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pg. 490-494

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: In 1998, a project was initiated to demonstrate techniques and evaluate the efficacy of reducing overstory tree density and reintroducing fire in order to develop the tree composition, structure, and herbaceous complex typical of a savanna. On three study areas, two dominated by oak and one by shortleaf pine, the total basal area of all trees = 1.6 inches DBH was thinned to approximately 40 feet2 basal area per acre during the 1998-99 dormant season. Prescribed burns were conducted in April 1999 and April 2000. After assessing mortality from the fire, the residual basal area was adjusted to 35 feet2 per acre during the 1999 growing season.Pretreatment inventories conducted during August of 1998 tallied over 45 herbaceous and woody understory species. During the first-year post-treatment inventory (August 1999), 20 new herbaceous species were identified on the treatment plots. Following the second prescribed fire, 17 additional herbaceous species were tallied (August 2000). The most abundant of these species were fireweed and pokeweed. Of the woody understory species (<1.6 inches DBH) present on the sampling plots, only the oaks and hickories did not exhibit a substantial change in the number of stems per acre following treatment. Blackhaw was eliminated from the understory following the prescribed burn and the numbers of black cherry, red maple, dogwood, and shortleaf pine decreased by more than 50 percent. Species that benefited from the treatment included black gum (+210 percent), sassafras (+40 percent), sumac (+2110 percent), and post oak (+494 percent). Initial treatments greatly modified the overstory structure and, thus, the understory light regime. This in turn has affected an immediate and marked shift in the understory complex of herbaceous and woody plants.

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Loewenstein, Edward F.; Davidson, Kenneth R. 2002. Ecological Restoration Through Silviculture--A Savanna Management Demonstration Area, Sinkin Experimental Forest, Missouri. In: Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-48. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pg. 490-494

 


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