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Project ID: 01B-3-1-04

Year: 2002

Date Started: 05/30/2002

Date Completed: 05/31/2006

Title: Long-Term Dormant-Season Burning Interval Study in the Palmetto/Gallberry Fuel Complex: Establishing an Adjacent Growing-Season Burn Study and Making Both Demonstration Areas

Project Proposal Abstract: The Osceola National Forest in Florida contains a unique set of long-term prescribed burning plots in an 85-year old natural stand of longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) . The plots were established in 1958 by the Southeastern Forest Experiment Station. The understory is southern rough (palmetto/gallberry) . The study design consists of 24 0.8 ha plots arranged in 6 blocks of 4 treatments each, consisting of dormant season burns applied at 1, 2, or 4 year intervals and unburned controls. The presence of remnant boxed longleaf pine trees from turpentine operations a century ago are an added attraction and evidence that the herbaceous groundcover was never removed for agriculture. Fuels and vegetation data have been collected pre- and post- burn along with fire behavior data each year, and additional studies that have compared the effects of 4 levels of fuel reduction (1, 2, 4, and none) on overstory stand dynamics, groundcover plants, coarse woody debris, arthropods, and smoke production make these plots an ideal candidate for a demonstration area. The area is located in North Florida where the 1998-2000 fire seasons have resulted in a substantially heightened public interest about the efficacy of prescribed fire to reduce hazardous fuel accumulations. The study site is within an hour of several colleges/universities and numerous cities in Florida and South Georgia, home to roughly one million people. Furthermore a woods road serves as a fire break around three sides of the study site making the visually dramatic changes on 14 of the plots within a few feet of the handicapped. Because the 1998 fire season revealed problems with traditional dormant/season burns, we propose to create a comprehensive demonstration area using this long-term study and add adjacent replicated growing season burn treatments applied every 1,2, 3, and 4 years, a second set of unburned control plots, and a fire surrogate consisting of a herbicide treatment. A display board containing a map, photos, study results, and the role of fire in this ecosystem will be designed by a professional educational outreach company and installed at the study parking area. A full color take home fact sheet will also be provided. A web page will be developed containing similar but more detailed information. Descriptive signs will be placed at each plot. A field day will be conducted in FY2004 to visually show professionals and laypeople the effects of various levels of fire on hazardous fuel reduction, biodiversity and wildlife habitat. This proposal directly addresses JFSP Issue 3, Task 1: Develop demonstration sites in various ecosystems ... that can serve to illustrate various fuels treatment practices or techniques.... There is also a link to Task 3: Address local knowledge gaps that are significant to fire management plan development and implementation which has added significance because this study site contains both federally and state listed species, as well as species of special concern.

Principal Investigator: Kenneth W. Outcalt

Agency/Organization: Forest Service

Branch or Dept: SRS-Ctr for Forest Disturbance Science

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Co-Principal Investigator

Dale D. Wade

Forest Service

SRS-Southern Forest Experimental Station

Federal Cooperator

Kenneth W. Outcalt

Forest Service

SRS-Ctr for Forest Disturbance Science

Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network


There are no project locations identified for this project.

Project Deliverables

Final Report view or print

("Results presented in JFSP Final Reports may not have been peer-reviewed and should be interpreted as tentative until published in a peer-reviewed source.")

  ID Type Title
    1291 Government Publication We Can’t Keep Fire Out of These Woods; We Can Only Choose Between Prescribed Burns and Wildfire
    2797 Journal Article Fire Frequency Effects on Longleaf Pine Vegetation in South Carolina and Northeast Florida, USA
    2324 Poster Study Results and General Discussion of Prescribed Burning on Osceola National Forest
  go to website 2326 Website  
    2335 Field Demonstration/Tour  
    2336 Field Demonstration/Tour  
    2420 Poster Restoring Flatwoods Longleaf Communities: Results from Long-Term Burning on the Osceola National Forest
    6892 Poster Response of a Longleaf Pine Flatwood Community to Long-Term Dormant Season Prescribed Burning

Supporting Documents

There are no supporting documents available for this project.

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