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Survivorship of evergreen hardwoods after wildfire in maritime forest, Cumberland Island National Seashore, Georgia



Survivorship of evergreen hardwoods after wildfire in maritime forest, Cumberland Island National Seashore, Georgia



Castanea 58(1): 34-44



Following three naturally ignited fires in the summer of 1986 on Cumberland Island National Seashore, Georgia, mature live oaks (Quercus virginiana), laurel oaks (Q. laurifolia), and red bays (Persea borbonia), were tagged to determine post burn survivorship. Amount of crown scorch evident after the fire was the best predictor of the condition of Quercus spp., while the degree of basal scorch was the best predictor of the condition of red bay 21 months later. Oak mortality was low. Although oaks which had completely scorched crown usually did not survive (80% mortality), mortality for trees with 1 to 15% of their leaves surviving the fire was 43%. Of oaks with greater than 15% of their crown alive post burn, ten of 291 died and only six of these (2%) are likely to have been killed by fire induced damage. The results indicate that prescribed natural fire would probably cause little excess hardwood mortality and little change in forest structure if utilized as a management strategy for the Cumberland Island wilderness.

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Accession: 002973216

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

DOI: 10.2307/4033795


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