Table of Contents

Fire Ecology
Volume 12, Issue 2 - 2016
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.1202

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Fire in Eastern North American Oak Ecosystems: Filling the Gaps

Authors: J. Morgan Varner, Mary A. Arthur, Stacy L. Clark, Daniel C. Dey, Justin L. Hart, and Callie Jo Schweitzer
Pages: 1-6
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.1202001

This special issue of Fire Ecology is focused on the fire ecology of eastern USA oak (Quercus L.) forests, woodlands, and savannas.  The papers were presented as part of the Fifth Fire in Eastern Oak Forests Conference in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA, in 2015.  The topic of fire in Eastern oak ecosystems is one that has received insufficient interest from the broader fire ecology community.

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Classic Article

Sowing the Seeds of Fire and Oak in the Eastern US: a Tribute to Buell et al. 1954

Author: Marc D. Abrams
Pages: 7-12
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.1202007

A 323-year-old white oak (Quercus alba L.) tree in Mettler’s Woods in central New Jersey, USA, was the subject of the Buell et al. 1954 paper. They identified six fire scars formed between 1641 and 1711, with a mean fire return interval of 8.6 years over this period. The fires were primarily associated with narrow rings, which are indicative of drought years.

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Research Articles

Northern Long-Eared Bat Day-Roosting and Prescribed Fire in the Central Appalachians, USA

Authors: W. Mark Ford, Alexander Silvis, Joshua B. Johnson, John W. Edwards, and Milu Karp
Pages: 13-27
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.1202013

The northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis Trovessart) is a cavity-roosting species that forages in cluttered upland and riparian forests throughout the oak-dominated Appalachian and Central Hardwoods regions. Common prior to white-nose syndrome, the population of this bat species has declined to functional extirpation in some regions in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, including portions of the central Appalachians.

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Repeated Application of Fuel Reduction Treatments in the Southern Appalachian Mountains, USA: Implications for Achieving Management Goals

Authors: Thomas A. Waldrop, Donald L. Hagan, and Dean M. Simon
Pages: 28-47
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.1202028

Fire and resource managers of the southern Appalachian Mountains, USA, have many questions about the use of prescribed fire and mechanical treatments to meet various land management objectives.  Three common objectives include restoration to an open woodland, oak regeneration, and fuel reduction.  This paper provides information about reaching each of these three management objectives by using prescribed burning (B), mechanical fuel reduction (M), and a combination of both fire and mechanical treatment (MB).

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Suites of Fire-Adapted Traits of Oaks in the Southeastern USA: Multiple Strategies for Persistence

Authors: J. Morgan Varner, Jeffrey M. Kane, J. Kevin Hiers, Jesse K. Kreye, and Joseph W. Veldman
Pages: 48-64
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.1202048

Fire is integral to the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems of the southeastern USA and is a strong selective force on plant species.  Among woody plants, oak species (Quercus spp. L) have diverse life history traits that appear to reflect their evolution in this fire-prone region.  Oaks also occur across wide gradients of fire frequency and intensity, from annually burned savannas to fire-protected forests.

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Scale Dependence of Oak Woodland Historical Fire Intervals: Contrasting The Barrens of Tennessee and Cross Timbers of Oklahoma, USA

Authors: Michael C. Stambaugh, Richard P. Guyette, Joseph M. Marschall, and Daniel C. Dey
Pages: 65-84
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.1202065

Characterization of scale dependence of fire intervals could inform interpretations of fire history and improve fire prescriptions that aim to mimic historical fire regime conditions. We quantified the temporal variability in fire regimes and described the spatial dependence of fire intervals through the analysis of multi-century fire scar records (8 study sites, 332 trees, 843 fire scars) derived from two historically post oak (Quercus stellata Wangenh.) woodland landscapes.

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Hardwood-Pine Mixedwoods Stand Dynamics following Thinning and Prescribed Burning

Authors: Callie Jo Schweitzer, Daniel C. Dey, and Yong Wang
Pages: 85-104
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.1202085

Restoration of hardwood-pine (Pinus L.) mixedwoods is an important management goal in many pine plantations in the southern Cumberland Plateau in north-central Alabama, USA.  Pine plantations have been relatively unmanaged since initiation, and thus include a diversity of hardwoods developing in the understory.  These unmanaged pine plantations have become increasingly vulnerable to insects, and management activities were initiated to facilitate transition towards hardwood-pine mixedwoods.

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Natural Canopy Damage and the Ecological Restoration of Fire-Indicative Groundcover Vegetation in an Oak-Pine Forest

Author: J. Stephen Brewer
Pages: 105-126
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.1202105

An important goal of restoring fire to upland oak-dominated communities that have experienced fire exclusion is restoring groundcover plant species diversity and composition indicative of fire-maintained habitats. Several studies have shown that fire alone, however, may not be sufficient to accomplish this goal. Furthermore, treatment-driven declines in rare forest specialists could negate the benefits of ecological restoration in these ecosystems.

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Review Article

Fire Effects on Wildlife in the Central Hardwoods and Appalachian Regions, USA

Authors: Craig A. Harper, W. Mark Ford, Marcus A. Lashley, Christopher E. Moorman, and Michael C. Stambaugh
Pages: 127-159
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.1202127

Fire is being prescribed and used increasingly to promote ecosystem restoration (e.g., oak woodlands and savannas) and to manage wildlife habitat in the Central Hardwoods and Appalachian regions, USA. However, questions persist as to how fire affects hardwood forest communities and associated wildlife, and how fire should be used to achieve management goals. We provide an up-to-date review of fire effects on various wildlife species and their habitat in the Central Hardwoods and Appalachians.

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Forum: Issues, Management, Policy, and Opinions

Oak, Fire, and Global Change in the Eastern USA: What Might the Future Hold?

Authors: James M. Vose and Katherine J. Elliott
Pages: 160-179
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.1202160

The pace of environmental and socioeconomic change over the past 100 years has been rapid. Changes in fire regimes, climate, and land use have shaped the structure and function of most forest ecosystems, including oak (Quercus spp. L.) forests in the eastern United States. New stressors such as air pollution and invasive species have contributed to and interacted with climate and fire to alter current forest conditions. While changing fire regimes have altered species composition of the current forest, oak regeneration is constrained by many factors that may affect future forests.

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