Bringing fire back: The changing regimes of the Appalachian mixed-oak forests

P. Brose, T. Schuler, D. Van Lear, J. Berst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

190 Scopus citations


Since vegetative associations stabilized about 4,000 years ago, the Appalachian mixed-oak forests have experienced three profoundly different fire regimes. Periodic, low-intensity surface fires lit by American Indians characterized the first regime, and this regime helped perpetuate oak as one of the dominant species groups. The Industrial Revolution led to high-intensity, stand-replacing fires, causing extensive damage to the forests. Modern fire protection created a "no-fire" regime that permitted the forests to recover but allowed mesophytic species to begin replacing the oaks. Today, research is under way to identify how to reintroduce fire to solve this oak replacement problem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-35
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Forestry
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Forestry
  • Plant Science


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