The objectives of this study were to reconstruct historical fire regime characteristics of red pine (Pinus resinosa) forests in the Adirondack Mountains, and to highlight potential implications for the conservation and preservation of fire-dependent natural communities. Tree-ring dating of dead and living fire-scarred trees at two sites produced records spanning from 1577 to 2015. Historical fire years spanned the years 1693 to 1913 with a concentration of events in the mid-1800s. Fires were primarily low to moderate severity, dormant-season events that were not associated with summer drought. The historical fire record establishes that fire disturbances were historically present in the Adirondack Mountains and silvicultural intervention (e.g., prescribed burning) may be needed to maintain fire-dependent red pine communities, thus preventing their inevitable succession to northern hardwoods.
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Vol. 39 • No. 2