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Forest Fuel and Fire Dynamics in Mixed-oak Forests of Southeastern Ohio

by Graham, John B.

Abstract (Summary)
In eastern deciduous forests, prescribed fire and thinning are used as tools for a variety of management goals, including altering fuel loads. The specific effects of these treatments on fuel dynamics are relatively unknown in mixed-oak forests. Likewise, specific fire behavior from fuel load and moisture is relatively unknown in these ecosystems. First, I examine the dynamics of multiple classes of fuels, from litter and duff to large, coarse woody debris, three-years following thinning and prescribed fire. Fine fuels recovered rapidly following treatments, while larger, sound fuels continue to exhibit effects of thinning. Second, I manipulate fuel loads and fuel moisture levels in a common garden, trial burn experiment. Fires burned hotter with elevated fuel loads or decreased fuel moisture. My results can be used collectively to predict the effects of silvicultural treatments on future prescribed fires, and provide a realistic baseline for fuel loading and fire behavior models.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Ohio University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:quercus litter coarse woody debris silviculture fire ecology thinning hardwood forests

ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/2005

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