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Project ID: 10-2-01-5

Year: 2010

Date Started: 07/01/2010

Date Completed: 12/05/2016

Title: A Synthesis of Fire and Oak Restoration in the Northeastern U.S.

Project Proposal Abstract: We propose to review and synthesize the scientific literature and recent management studies describing the effects of fire in oak forest, woodland, and savanna ecosystems in the northeastern United States, with an emphasis on the potential for using prescribed fire to restore and maintain the oak component of these oak ecosystems. We will use the existing published literature, along with any unpublished reports and/or data that we can locate, to geneate information for a handbook for oak forest managers. Our work will focus on how fire frequency and intensity regulate the competitive balance among oak species and between oak species and other tree species they may be mixed with on a variety of sites from mesic to dry. We will also address how fire regulates the balance between oaks and shrubs, grasses, and invasive species. Finally, we will review potential interactions of fire and oaks with deer grazing, acorn predation, diseases such as oak wilt, and climate change. We will communicate results to managers in the form of a managers handbook (printed and pdf), a workshop to be presented by the CO-PIs, and a DVD and Powerpoint presentation made from the workshop. We will also publish a review and synthesis paper in the peer-reviewed scientific literature. Frelich and Reich have presented numerous workshops to audiences of Forest Service, State Forest, County, and Tribal foresters through the University of Minnesotas Sustainable Forests Education Cooperative on many topics over the last 15 years and will draw on this experience to create an oak forest and fire workshop. We will make use of management consultants and a science writer throughout the project to assure that the end products are relevant and accessible to a restoration and management audience.

Principal Investigator: David W. Peterson

Agency/Organization: Forest Service

Branch or Dept: PNW-Forestry Sciences Lab-Wenatchee

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Co-Principal Investigator

Lee E. Frelich

University of Minnesota

Department of Forest Resources

Co-Principal Investigator

Peter Reich

University of Minnesota

Department of Forest Resources

Federal Cooperator

David W. Peterson

Forest Service

PNW-Forestry Sciences Lab-Wenatchee

Federal Fiscal Representative

Rebecca A. Slick

Forest Service

PNW-Pacific Northwest Research Station

Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network


Great Plains

Lake States

Oak Woodlands
















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
view or print go to website 1819 Government Publication Fire in upper Midwestern oak forest ecosystems: an oak forest restoration and management handbook
view or print   3763 Journal Article Journal of Sustainable Forestry
  go to website 7848 Invited Paper/Presentation Webinar: Oak and fire in Minnesota forests
    4352 Conference/Symposia/Workshop A synthesis of fire and oak
    7846 Conference/Symposia/Workshop A synthesis of fire and oaks
    7847 Conference/Symposia/Workshop The role of oak within the context of a changing climate

Supporting Documents

There are no supporting documents available for this project.

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