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Short term effects of returning prescribed fire to oak woodland

This study evaluated the effects of two prescribed fires conducted on a site being restored to a white oak dominated woodland. Stand structure, understory species composition, light levels, and soil nutrients were compared between burned and unburned units within the Kelly Hertel Woods section of the Marengo Ridge Conservation Area in northeast Illinois.

Implications for Managers:

  • Low intensity prescribed fire alone will not favor oak regeneration in restoration sites.
  • Higher intensity prescribed fire or mechanical removal may be necessary to remove non-oak species.
  • Protecting oak seedlings and saplings from mammalian herbivory may be necessary to promote survival into larger size classes.

 For a summary of the study's results and implications for management, you can view or download a PDF version of "Short term effects of returning prescribed fire to oak woodland."

This research brief for research managers summarizes the following peer-reviewed publication:

Stan, Amanda B., Lesley S. Rigg, and Linda S. Jones. 2006. Dynamics of a managed oak woodland in Northeastern Illinois. Natural Areas Journal 26(2):187-197.

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