Prescribed Fire in Oak Savanna: Fire Frequency Effects on Stand Structure and Dynamics

Peterson, D.W. and P.B. Reich

Publication Date:

Attempts to preserve and maintain savannas as a viable ecosystem type in this region will require a long-term commitment to restoration-based management, with prescribed fire as a central tool. Burn frequency treatments with four or more fires per decade produce similar reductions in stem density and stand basal area but may lead to unsustainable oak tree populations. Within this general range, fire frequencies at a decadal scale should be chosen to address other management objectives, including suppressing shrubs and promoting increased cover of grasses and other herbaceous species. Fire management with a long-term view may also require periodic respites to allow for new cohorts of mature oak trees.

Resource Type:
Peer-reviewed Article

Ecological Applications