Publication Details

Fire in eastern oak forests—a primer

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Stambaugh, Michael C.; Dey, Daniel C.; Marschall, Joseph M.; Harper, Craig A.

Year Published

2022

Publication

NRS-INF-39-22. Madison, WI: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 15 p.

Abstract

This publication provides an introduction to the concepts that are important to understanding fire in the ecology and management of oak forests in the eastern United States. Fire historically was common in eastern oak forests and woodlands but perceptions of fire changed and suppression became the norm. Research has demonstrated how fire-maintained woodlands and savannas are occupied by plant and wildlife species that require more open conditions than that in closed-canopy forests. Fire is essential to maintaining oak forests. In addition to favoring oaks, fire creates an environment that allows regeneration of other tree species and stimulates germination of a diverse assemblage of herbaceous plants in the understory.

Keywords

prescribed fire; oak management; wildfire; forest community

Citation

Stambaugh, Michael C.; Dey, Daniel C.; Marschall, Joseph M.; Harper, Craig A. 2022. Fire in eastern oak forests—a primer. NRS-INF-39-22. Madison, WI: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 15 p. https://doi.org/10.2737/NRS-INF-39-22.

Last updated on: July 18, 2022