Translator Disclaimer
1 July 2010 Fire History of a Rimrock Pine Forest at New River Gorge National River, West Virginia
Author Affiliations +
Abstract

The fire history of a rimrock pine forest at the New River Gorge National River, West Virginia, was studied using 21 fire-scarred Pinus virginiana Mill. (Virginia pine) cross-sections. Fire frequency and the goodness-of-fit between the fire interval distribution and the normal and Weibull distributions were evaluated with the FHX2® program. A 107-year fire chronology (1898–2005) was constructed from 53 fire scars. Fire intervals ranged from 1 to 8 years. The Weibull median interval was approximately 3 years using liberal (one or more trees scarred during a single year) or conservative (two or more trees scarred during a single year) criteria. Similar to other mixed forest stands in the Central Hardwood Region, fires in the 20th century were likely ignited from coal mining activities and steam-driven locomotives near the study site. Anthropogenic fires may have caused an artificial increase in rimrock pine forests or allowed pines to persist in greater numbers than would be possible in the absence of disturbance. Restoration (e.g., prescribed burning) is probably not needed to retain P. virginiana as a component of the rimrock forest, but the species' dominance will continue to be restricted on the rim of the gorge.

R. Stockton Maxwell and Ray R. Hicks "Fire History of a Rimrock Pine Forest at New River Gorge National River, West Virginia," Natural Areas Journal 30(3), (1 July 2010). https://doi.org/10.3375/043.030.0311
Published: 1 July 2010
JOURNAL ARTICLE
7 PAGES


SHARE
ARTICLE IMPACT
Back to Top