Empirical data generated from fire scars are a foundation for understanding fire regimes, designing land-management objectives, and addressing long-term land-use and climate-change effects. We derived precise dates of historic fires from fire-scar injuries occurring on trees growing in a relict post oak woodland in northeastern Texas. The fire-event chronology shows the last three centuries were marked with human influence, with an overall trend of decreasing fire occurrence through time. Thirty different fire events occurred between 1690 and 2007, of which 26 occurred prior to 1856. All fires occurred while trees were dormant. From 1690 to 1820, the mean fire interval was 6.7 yr. A 50-yr period without fire occurred in the latter 19th century (1855–1905) and coincided with the establishment of an oak cohort. A second extended period (80 yr) without fire characterized most of the 20th century. We hypothesize that the absence of fire during much of the last century has resulted in increased tree density and canopy closure, the establishment of fire-intolerant vines, shrubs, and trees, and likely the decline of fire-dependent plant species. Information describing long-term changes of fire regimes in oak woodlands in this region could aid in determining fire-management objectives with respect to prescribed fire implementation and community restoration.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 64 • No. 4