Project Title

Mountain Longleaf Pine Seedling Survival Following Prescribed Burning

Academic department under which the project should be listed

CSM - Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology

Faculty Sponsor Name

Matthew Weand

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Abstract

Background:

Restoration and ongoing management of longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) ecosystems requires prescribed fire. Fires reduce competitor species and allow longleaf pine to regenerate. However longleaf pine seedlings in grass and bolting stages may be vulnerable to fire. Following early spring burning, immediate survival (e.g. March-May) may depend upon whether seedlings contain enough starch reserves to regrow needles lost during the fire. In mixed-species stands with infrequent fires the surrounding litter characteristics (e.g. depth, density) influence fire intensity and indirectly affect survival rates.

Hypothesis:

We hypothesize that in areas where fire has been absent for several years, prescribed fire will have a negative effect due to fuel accumulation.With greater litter accumulation and fire intensity the seedling mortality rates will increase. Furthermore, we expect mortality rates to increase as seedling height and stem diameter decrease.

Methods:

We monitored mortality and survival rates of grass and bolting stage seedlings in mixed-species stands between the months of February and March in northwest Georgia. Seedling height and stem diameter, and surrounding fuel characteristics were recorded prior to prescribed fires. Seedling survival was determined using evaluation of apical buds within six weeks of a fire. Logistical regressions will determine the ability of seedling, fuel and fire characteristics to predict mortality rates.

Conclusion & Expected Results:

We expect that increased litter depths, lower litter densities, fire-facilitating qualities of litter (e.g. percent pine needles), and fire temperature will have a negative influence on survival rates. The results of this experiment will help determine whether additional intervention (e.g. fuel removal) may be required to improve longleaf seedling survival and regeneration in mixed species stands.

Disciplines

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Project Type

Poster

How will this be presented?

Yes, in person

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 

Mountain Longleaf Pine Seedling Survival Following Prescribed Burning

Abstract

Background:

Restoration and ongoing management of longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) ecosystems requires prescribed fire. Fires reduce competitor species and allow longleaf pine to regenerate. However longleaf pine seedlings in grass and bolting stages may be vulnerable to fire. Following early spring burning, immediate survival (e.g. March-May) may depend upon whether seedlings contain enough starch reserves to regrow needles lost during the fire. In mixed-species stands with infrequent fires the surrounding litter characteristics (e.g. depth, density) influence fire intensity and indirectly affect survival rates.

Hypothesis:

We hypothesize that in areas where fire has been absent for several years, prescribed fire will have a negative effect due to fuel accumulation.With greater litter accumulation and fire intensity the seedling mortality rates will increase. Furthermore, we expect mortality rates to increase as seedling height and stem diameter decrease.

Methods:

We monitored mortality and survival rates of grass and bolting stage seedlings in mixed-species stands between the months of February and March in northwest Georgia. Seedling height and stem diameter, and surrounding fuel characteristics were recorded prior to prescribed fires. Seedling survival was determined using evaluation of apical buds within six weeks of a fire. Logistical regressions will determine the ability of seedling, fuel and fire characteristics to predict mortality rates.

Conclusion & Expected Results:

We expect that increased litter depths, lower litter densities, fire-facilitating qualities of litter (e.g. percent pine needles), and fire temperature will have a negative influence on survival rates. The results of this experiment will help determine whether additional intervention (e.g. fuel removal) may be required to improve longleaf seedling survival and regeneration in mixed species stands.

blog comments powered by Disqus