A comparison of prescribed fire records to tree-ring reconstructions of fire for longleaf pine savannas in the Red Hills Region, USA.

Authors: Jacob Irvin*, University of North Carolina - Wilmington, Monica Rother, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Jean Huffman, Tall Timbers, Tallahassee, FL, Kevin Robertson, Tall Timbers, Tallahassee, FL
Topics: Biogeography, Environmental Science, Physical Geography
Keywords: longleaf pine, fire history, fire scars, seasonality, dendrochronology
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Tree-ring based fire-history methods allow researchers to determine the year and often season of past fires. Locations with well-documented records of recent fire activity, such as the Red Hills Region of northern Florida and southwestern Georgia, provide a unique opportunity to assess the accuracy of these methods. We collected fire-scarred cross sections of longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) from 20 trees at several sites in the Red Hills Region and used dendroecological methods to reconstruct fire history from fire scars. An existing cambial phenology study of southern pines in our region enabled us to associate months with each intra-annual fire scar position. We then compared our tree-ring based reconstruction to the land management records of fire. We found that our dendroecological estimates of fire frequency and season based on fire-scar position generally aligned with known prescribed fire dates. However, some disagreement between the land management and dendroecological records of fire indicate that these data are not without limitations.

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