Fire Ecology, 2013
Volume 9, Issue 3
Is The Longleaf Type a Climax?, with an Introduction by Brian P. Oswald
Author: H.H. Chapman
When I moved to the south in 1992, one of the first articles I read regarding the ecological role of fire in southern forests was H.H. Chapman’s “Is the Longleaf Type a Climax?” from the 1932 volume of Ecology. Herman Haupt Chapman followed his short tenure as a forest assistant under Gifford Pinchot with a long career on the faculty in the Yale University School of Forestry. Unlike others who were voicing concerns regarding the attempts to stop periodic burning in the southern forests, Chapman’s research was so respected that it gave him an effective voice for those opposed to fire exclusion in this region. Between 1909 and the early 1940s, he published over two dozen articles on southern forests and fire, with a special focus on the role of fire in the ecology of longleaf pine. His recommendation of burning on a three year rotation in Bulletin 16 of the Yale University School of Forestry linked the role of fire to hardwood control, control of brown spot disease, reduction of fuel loads and promotion of longleaf pine regeneration.