Fire and fire surrogate treatments in mixed-oak forests: effects on herbaceous layer vegetation
Document Type: Conference Proceedings
Author(s): Ross J. Phillips; Todd F. Hutchinson; Lucy Brudnak; Thomas A. Waldrop
Editor(s): Bret W. Butler; Wayne A. Cook
Publication Year: 2007

Cataloging Information

  • fuel treatments
  • herbaceous layer vegetation
  • wildland fire management
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: March 9, 2016
FRAMES Record Number: 2866


Herbaceous layer vegetation responses to prescribed fire and fire surrogate treatments (thinning and understory removal) were examined. Results from 3 to 4 years following treatment are presented for the Ohio Hills Country and the Southern Appalachian Mountain sites of the National Fire and Fire Surrogate Study. At the Ohio Hills site, changes in forest structure were observed for all treatments, but areas treated with fire showed the greatest increase in herbaceous cover and species richness. These results indicate that fire effects are unique disturbances that are not mimicked by alterations of the forest structure alone. However, at the Southern Appalachian site, fire alone did not produce a response in the herbaceous layer. The combination of fire plus mechanical treatment was necessary to increase cover and species richness.

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Phillips, Ross J.; Hutchinson, Todd F.; Brudnak, Lucy; Waldrop, Thomas A. 2007. Fire and fire surrogate treatments in mixed-oak forests: effects on herbaceous layer vegetation. Pages 475-485 In: Butler, Bret W.; Cook, Wayne, (comps.). The fire environment - innovations, management, and policy; conference proceedings, 26-30 March 2007, Destin, FL. Proceedings RMRS-P-46CD. Fort Collins, CO: USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station.