Fire Research: A Hot Topic

For centuries landowners in the southern Appalachians have used fire as a tool to clear land, control insects, encourage forage, and eliminate unwanted vegetation. But little is known about how fire affects regeneration of oak or other hardwood trees, and how it can be used to meet specific management or restoration goals for upland hardwood…  More 

Indiana Bats and Prescribed Fire

A two-day workshop held in western North Carolina provided research results to forest and natural resource managers concerned about maintaining summer habitat for the endangered Indiana bat. Attended by over 60 people from federal and state agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and a private consultant, the workshop focused on identifying summer maternity habitat for the species in…  More 

Rabbit Rules for Prescribed Burns

Forest Service scientists with the Southern Research Station (SRS) Center for Forest Disturbance Science  (CFDS) recently tested Rabbit Rules, a simplified model they developed that can be used to quickly calculate fire and smoke behavior from prescribed burns. The impacts of smoke on air quality are particularly important in the South, where managers use prescribed…  More 

More Fuel for Fire?

Fire has been a fact of life for millennia in the South, shaping the range and ecology of pine, certain oak, and palm forests. But along with shrinking polar ice and rising sea levels, there’s general agreement among climate scientists that climate change will probably increase both the intensity and frequency of fire in the southern…  More 

Prescribed Fire in the Piney Woods

Effects on amphibians and reptiles Forest managers across North America use prescribed burning for many reasons—restoring ecosystem functions, improving wildlife habitat, reducing wildlife hazard, to name a few. Prescribed fire can have both beneficial and negative effects on specific plants and animals. Managers are increasingly sensitive to possible effects of fire on amphibians and reptiles…  More 

Acorns and Prescribed Fire

Southern Research Station (SRS) scientists have found that litter and soil can provide the insulation needed to protect acorns when prescribed fire is used to help restore oak ecosystems. “Acorns inside the leaf litter or in the soil are for the most part protected from fire,” says Katie Greenberg, SRS researcher and lead author of…  More 

Fire on the Base

  DOD and Joint Fire Science Fund SRS Research at Eglin Air Force Base The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) recently awarded the Southern Research Station (SRS) Center for Forest Disturbance Science (CFDS) $2 million for a 5-year project with researchers from the Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center, Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station,…  More 

An Evening Burn to Restore Mountain Forests

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) and the Southern Research Station(SRS) have been cooperating for over 10 years to study prescribed burning in the Southern Appalachian Mountains on state-owned Green River Game Land in Polk County, NC.  The afternoon and evening of January 31, crews burned study plots on the Green River Game Land…  More