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Effects of Fire on Pine and Pine-Hardwood Forests in the Southern Appalachians

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Mortality and reproduction of trees following 12 fires which occurred during 1956-71 in the Cherokee National Forest and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park were studied to determine the effects of fire on the successional status of pines and hardwoods. Visual estimates of areal cover of reproduction, crown canopy, dbh, and basal area made from plots within burned areas were used to measure postfire vegetation. Data for surviving trees and stems of trees killed by fires were used to estimate prefire vegetation. Results indicate that most lightning fires initiate little new pine reproduction. Occasional severe crown fires which removed more than 85 percent of the basal area and canopy coverage encouraged reestablishment of pines in local areas. Forest Sci. 22:399-403.

Keywords: Pinus echinata; Pinus pungens; Pinus rigida; Pinus virginiana; Quercus coccinea; Quercus prinus; Succession; lighting

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Professor of Forestry at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee 37916

Publication date: December 1, 1976

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