Ecological, political and social challenges of prescribed fire restoration in east Texas pineywoods ecosystems: a case study
The effectiveness of prescribed fire restoration of forested sites in three state parks in east Texas, USA was studied. Two sites consisted of mixed shortleaf (Pinus echinata Mill.) or loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) and broadleaf overstoreys. The third site was a longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.)/little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium (Michx.) Nash.) stand. Mid‐ and understoreys at all sites consisted of a variety of shrubs and herbaceous vegetation. Prolonged drought resulting in county burn bans prohibited burning until immediately after rain events. Results indicated no effect from the burns in the overstorey, seedling, shrub or herbaceous layers at any park. At two sites, there was a significant increase in the percentage of dead standing saplings in the burn plots from pre‐ to post‐burn. The only significant decreases in fuels were in the weight and depth of combined Oi and Oe horizons (litter). Compliance with burn bans greatly reduced the restorative powers of the burns. Park visitors' attitudes concerning fire were also examined, indicating a need for education concerning differences between wildfire and prescribed fire, and benefits of prescribed fire.
Oswald, Brian P.; Rideout, S.; and Legg, M. H., "Ecological, political and social challenges of prescribed fire restoration in east Texas pineywoods ecosystems: a case study" (2003). Faculty Publications. 21.