Document


Title

Sand pine scrub burning: some positive steps for management [abstract]
Document Type: Conference Paper
Author(s): R. F. Doren; R. E. Roberts; Donald R. Richardson
Editor(s): Sharon M. Hermann
Publication Year: 1991

Cataloging Information

Keyword(s):
  • catastrophic fires
  • crown fires
  • fire adaptations (plants)
  • fire dependent species
  • fire exclusion
  • fire frequency
  • fire hazard reduction
  • fire regimes
  • fire suppression
  • forest fragmentation
  • fuel loading
  • fuel models
  • Pinus clausa
  • plant communities
  • scrub
  • species diversity (plants)
  • understory vegetation
  • vulnerable species or communities
  • xeric soils
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 26317
Tall Timbers Record Number: 13
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Tall Timbers shelf
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.

Description

Fire as an ecological factor is of major importance in the distribution, species composition, and productivity of the sand pine scrub community, both in its own right and as it interacts with other factors such as animal influences, trophic factors, soil particle movement, and the possible accumulation of phytotoxins. In Florida scrub communities and other similar, highly volatile vegetation types elsewhere (e.g., chaparral, heathlands, jack pine forests, dune scrub, etc.) wild fires usually exhibit extreme and uncontrollable fire behavior. These communities can be classified by their infrequent, catastrophic, stand replacement crown fires. These fires pose a serious dilemma to land mangers and researchers charged with management and maintenance of these vegetation types. Typically, the sand pine scrub communities are maintained by stand replacement crown fires. These fires pose a serious dilemma to land managers and researchers charged with management and maintenance of these vegetation types. Typically, the sand pine scrub communities are maintained by stand replacement crown fires that occur only once in the lifetime of the sand pine or about every twenty to sixty years. These xeric pinelands and their narrowly adapted fauna and flora, are increasingly threatened by reduction and fragmentation of habitat, isolation from other scrub types, which, with suppression have resulted in lack of burning - essential to perpetuating these communities. Due to the potential hazards associated with fires in these fuel types, prescribed burning as a resource management tool has often been ignored, resulting in the loss of these communities and their associated species, many of which are legally mandated for protection and management. We utilized a modified chaparral fuel model (NFFL Model 4), as a basis for modifying and testing, to develop a prescription for managing the sand pine scrub. The chaparral/high pocosin/mature shrub model was considered suitable for use with sand pine scrub fuel type as it presupposes an understory of 2 or more meters in height, flammable foliage, and a nearly continuous secondary overstory, with heavy loading of live and dead fine woody material. The sand pine fuel model was successfully tested on 5 different scrub sites in Martin and Palm Beach counties, Florida. Additional fuel reduction techniques were tailored to each site as logistical aids to prescribed burning. In each case, standing biomass was reduced along the edges using a combination of roller drum chopping and felling sand pines in place to reduce fire intensity along the perimeter of the site. One site had additional strips roller chopped through the area. The perimeters were then blacklined (beginning with the downwind side) to provide a fuel-free zone around the site. Once the downwind perimeter was secure, a head fire was ignited on the opposite side and allowed to burn the remainder of the site. Two years after the prescribed burn species richness for the Yamato sites increased from 47 to 61. Most of the increase is attributed to herbaceous species. Comparable data for the other test sites is not yet available as they are recent burns. Initial testing and subsequent use of this model and prescription indicate that prescribed burning of sand pine scrub can be accomplished effectively and safely.

Citation:
Doren, R. F., R. E. Roberts, and D. R. Richardson. 1991. Sand pine scrub burning: some positive steps for management [abstract], Proceedings 17th Tall Timbers Fire Ecology Conference. High intensity fire in wildlands: management challenges and options. Tallahassee, FL. Tall Timbers Research, Inc.,Tallahassee, FL. p. 408-409,