Changes to oak woodland stand structure and ground flora composition caused by thinning and burning

By: , and 



Our objective was to quantify the cumulative effects of prescribed burning and thinning on forest stocking and species composition at a woodland restoration experiment site in the Ozark Highlands of Missouri. Our study used four treatments (burn, harvest, harvest and burn, control) on three slope position and aspect combinations (south, north, ridge) replicated in three complete blocks. Harvested stands were thinned from below to 40 percent residual stocking. Two prescribed fires were applied to both burn and harvest-burn treatment units in a 5-year period. Results reflect changes that have taken place over a 6-year period, from pretreatment conditions to 1 year after the last fire. In this period, there was a 10-percent reduction in the stocking in burned stands compared to control and a 6-percent reduction in harvested and burned stands compared to harvested stands. Compared to the control, percentage ground cover of woodland indicators was seven times greater in burned stands, six times greater in harvested stands, and 22 percent greater in harvested and burned stands. Th ere was no significant (P > 0.05) interaction between aspect and treatment on stocking or ground flora cover. Th is study indicated that silvicultural treatments do achieve various goals that are common to managers who aim to restore woodland communities.

Study Area

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title Changes to oak woodland stand structure and ground flora composition caused by thinning and burning
Year Published 2013
Language English
Publisher U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service
Contributing office(s) Columbia Environmental Research Center
Description 11 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Conference publication
Larger Work Title Proceedings of the 18th Central Hardwoods Forest Conference
First page 373
Last page 383
Country United States
State Missouri
Other Geospatial Clearwater Creek;Logan Creek Conservation Area
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details