Effects of fire season on vegetation in longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) forestsThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Forest managers in the Southeastern United States are interested in the restoration of not only longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) trees, but also the characteristic forest structure and ground-layer vegetation of the longleaf pine ecosystem. Season of burn, fire intensity, and fire frequency are critical components of a fire regime that supports diverse ground layer vegetation and an open midstory. While some previous studies have concluded that a change to growing season burning for long periods of time (decades) facilitates restoration, such a change may be undesirable, especially for private land managers with more immediate management objectives, such as improving habitat for quail. There is a need to document short-term benefits associated with a change from dormant- to growing-season burning.