Establishment and growth of oak (Quercus alba, Quercus prinus) seedlings in burned and fire-excluded upland forests on the Cumberland Plateau

  • Published source details Royse J., Arthur M.A., Schörgendorfer A. & Loftis D.L. (2010) Establishment and growth of oak (Quercus alba, Quercus prinus) seedlings in burned and fire-excluded upland forests on the Cumberland Plateau. Forest Ecology and Management, 260, 502-510.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use prescribed fire: effects on young trees

Action Link
Forest Conservation
  1. Use prescribed fire: effects on young trees

    A replicated, controlled study in 2002-2008 in temperate broadleaf forest in Kentucky, USA (Royse et al. 2010) found that frequent prescribed fires decreased and single fires increased the height of white oak Quercus alba seedlings and decreased their mortality rate. Fire did not affect chestnut oak Quercus prinus seedling size and mortality rate. The height of white oak seedlings was different between treatments (unburned: 12; single fire: 16; three fires: 10 cm), while their diameters were higher in single than three fire plots (unburned: 2.3; single fire: 1.8; three fires: 1.7 mm). Cumulative percent mortality for white oak seedlings was lower in single fire (65%) than unburned plots (85%). For chestnut oak seedling height (unburned: 15; single fire: 16; three fires: 13 cm) and diameter (unburned: 2.3; single-fire: 2.5; three-fires: 2.6 mm) were similar between treatments, and mortality rate was similar between unburned and single fire plots (55% in both). Data were collected in May 2006 to August 2008 in 8-12 plots (10 × 40 m) in each of three treatment areas: control (unburned), single fire (prescribed fire in 2003) and three fires (prescribed fires in 2003, 2004, and 2006). Treatment areas were established in 2002 at each of three sites (200-300 ha).


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