From: University of Missouri-Columbia
Published April 18, 2017 05:17 PM

Prescribed Forest Fire Frequency Should Be Based on Land Management Goals

In recent decades, scientists and land managers have realized the importance of controlled forest fires for reaching specific forest management objectives. However, questions remain about how often forests should be burned. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have studied forests subjected to different frequencies of fires to determine what effects fire can have on oak forests over long periods of time. They found that the frequency of prescribed forest fires should be determined based on the long-term goals of land managers.

Benjamin Knapp, an assistant professor in the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Department of Forestry, examined forest fire data collected since 1949 from the University Forest Conservation Area in southeast Missouri. Throughout the course of the study, three areas of forest were subjected to varying frequencies of prescribed forest fires. One area has been burned every year since 1949, the second area has been burned every four years, and the final area has never been burned.

Continue reading at University of Missouri-Columbia

Image: University Forest Conservation Area land being burned every four years.

Image Credits: University of Missouri-Columbia

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