Old-growth wooded pasture in the Ozarks
Document Type: Conference Paper
Author(s): D. H. Jutnry; D. W. Stahle
Editor(s): M. A. Spetich
Publication Year: 2004

Cataloging Information

  • agriculture
  • archaeological sites
  • Arkansas
  • cover
  • dendrochronology
  • ecosystem dynamics
  • European settlement
  • fire frequency
  • fire scar analysis
  • fire suppression
  • forest management
  • geology
  • histories
  • human caused fires
  • hunting
  • lightning caused fires
  • Missouri
  • national forests
  • Native Americans
  • old fields
  • old growth forests
  • Ozarks
  • paleoecology
  • pollen
  • prairies
  • presettlement vegetation
  • Quercus alba
  • Quercus rubra
  • Quercus stellata
  • regeneration
  • soils
  • streams
  • Texas
  • trees
  • witness trees
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: August 9, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 42579
Tall Timbers Record Number: 17680
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: A13.88:SRS-73
TTRS Abstract Status: Fair use, Okay, Reproduced by permission

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.


Forests in the Ozarks are ancient: the dominance and density of their various arboreal and herbaceous species have fluctuated over time in relation to climatic change and cultural influences. This study examines the nature of the pre-European forest composition in the Ozarks through studies of geology and soils. General Land Office surveys, archeology, and dendrochronology. Examples and a case study on the Wedington Unit are drawn from the Ozark–St. Francis National Forest, where, in some areas, old-growth oak forests remain adjacent to former agricultural fields that are regenerating naturally. This paper also identifies forest management practices that aid in the maintenance of diverse old-growth ecosystems. From the Conclusions (p. 49)...'Fire scar records from trees indicate a mean fire return interval of 2.43 years during the late 1700s (R. Guyette. 2000. Notes on fire history at three sites in the Lower Atoka Hills adjacent to the Arkansas River. On file with School of Natural Resources, I-30 Agriculture Building, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211) (D.H. Jurney. 2002. Historic fire regime. 19 p. On file with: Ozark–St. Francis National Forests, 605 W. Main, Russellville, AR 72801). Based on Texas pollen studies (Bousman 1991), around 1,000 years ago the canopy cover was 20 percent. Today, the percentage of canopy cover has returned to the level of 8,000 years ago (40 percent).'

Jutnry, D. H., and D. W. Stahle. 2004. Old-growth wooded pasture in the Ozarks, in Spetich, M. A., Upland oak ecology symposium: history, current conditions, and sustainability. Fayetteville, AK. USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station,Asheville, NC. p. 42-52,General Technical Report SRS-73.