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Project ID: 14-1-01-4

Year: 2014

Date Started: 08/01/2014

Ending Date:  07/31/2018

Title: Effects of fuels treatments on reduction of fire risk and restoration of oak-pine forests in Central Hardwood Forest landscapes

Project Proposal Abstract: Historical fire regimes in the Central Hardwood landscapes of the eastern United States were characterized by frequent, low-severity ground fires in oak and mixed oak-pine forests punctuated by periodic intense crown fires in pine forests. Fire exclusion for almost a century has led to hazardous fuel buildups, which could foster large, intense wildfires. Long-term fire exclusion also has altered forest composition and structure in historically open oak-pine forests. Thus, prescribed fire is proposed as a means to reduce hazardous fuels and restore historical forest composition and structure. Our overall objective is to assess fuels treatment effectiveness across Mark Twain National Forests and adjacent Missouri State Forests in the Missouri Ozarks landscape. We will determine how strategic landscape placement of fuels treatments can limit the severity of large wildfires to minimize fire risk and maximize ecological restoration of oak and pine forests and woodlands. We will use field-based studies from multiple prescribed burn plots to quantify the effects of fuels treatments on forest composition and structure and to parameterize and validate FVS-FFE and LANDIS PRO. We then will answer four questions through simulation of the following scenarios: 1) How does the amount and configuration of fuels treatments across landscapes influence intensity, rate of spread, or patterns of severity for subsequent large wildfires?, 2) How does fire risk vary with characteristics of fuels treatments, climatic variables, and environmental conditions?, 3) What landscape fuels treatment strategies are most effective at reaching restoration objectives for forest structure and composition?, and 4) How can landscape fuels treatment strategies maintain effectiveness over the short-term (<20 years), mid-term (20-50 years), and long-term (50-150 years)? If strategic landscape placement of fuels treatments can limit severity of large wildfires, results from this study will minimize costs while maximizing ecological benefits of prescribed burns.

Principal Investigator: John M. Kabrick

Agency/Organization: Forest Service

Branch or Dept: NRS-Central Hardwoods

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Agreements Contact

David Garrison

Forest Service

NRS-Northern Research Station

Budget Contact

Terry R. Gross

Forest Service

NRS-Northern Research Station

Co-Principal Investigator

Brice B. Hanberry

University of Missouri-Columbia


Co-Principal Investigator

Hong He

University of Missouri-Columbia


Co-Principal Investigator

Benjamin O. Knapp

University of Missouri-Columbia


Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network

Oak Woodlands








Project Deliverables

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There are no deliverables available for this project.

Supporting Documents

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