Periodic Burning In Table Mountain-Pitch Pine Stands
Abstract - The effects of multiple, low intensity burns on vegetation and wildlife habitat in Table Mountain (Pinus pungens Lamb.)-pitch (Pinus rigida Mill.) pine communities were studied in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Treatments consisted of areas burned from one to four times at 3-4 year intervals, and controls which remained unburned. The burns altered stand structure by reducing the density of understory trees and shrubs, which inhibits establishment of many shade intolerant species. Woody fuel loading was not reduced by burning although duff depth decreased. With the exception of the four burn treatment, in which fire intensity was higher, these understory burns proved inadequate to regenerate pine. Fire intensity had a more pronounced effect than burning repetition on vegetative structure and composition, as well as pine regeneration.