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Effects of Fire Intensity on Competitive Dynamics Between Red and Black Oaks and Mountain Laurel

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We investigated the competitive response of oak and mountain laurel to prescribed fire on two sites in northeastern Connecticut. After nearly a decade, the competitive position of oak on moderately burned portions of both sites was little better, and in some respects worse, than on adjacent unburned controls. However, on portions of both sites where fire had killed much of the overstory, oak regrowth was vigorous and had escaped the dense mountain laurel layer. The results suggest that light understory fires alone are not sufficient for oak regeneration, and that prescribed fire should be used only as part of an integrated strategy involving harvesting of the overstory. Ecologically, the results point to the importance of severe disturbances in maintaining the structure and function of oak ecosystems. North. J. Appl. For. 13(3):119-123.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, 360 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511

Publication date: 1996-09-01

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  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Northern Journal of Applied Forestry covers northeastern, midwestern, and boreal forests in the United States and Canada.
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