Honors Thesis Presentation
An Honors Thesis Presentation by Elisabeth Nadler will be given on Tuesday, April 15, at 11:00 a.m. in 370 Kottman Hall. Her presentation is Effects of Burning Season on Fire Temperature and the Subsequent Regeneration of Oak Species.
The composition of eastern deciduous forests has changed within the last 100 years as a result of decreased natural fire disturbances. The presence of oak (Quercus spp.) has greatly declined, and has been increasingly replaced by maple (Acer spp.) and other shade-tolerant species. This composition shift poses a threat to eastern forest ecosystems. This study focuses on the relationship between season of burn and oak regeneration in contemporary forests. Average fire temperatures were significantly hotter in the fall burns (436.5°C) compared to spring burns (345.8°C). Southern and western aspects had significantly hotter fires compared to northern and eastern aspects within each season of burn. Midslope fires were also significantly hotter than upper and lower slope fires within each season of burn. Oak, a fire-adapted species benefitted from the higher temperatures by creating higher numbers of regenerating stems as compared to cooler fires. Management implications in regard to fire use are discussed.