Short-term stem mortality of 10 deciduous broadleaved species following prescribed burning in upland forests of the southern US
In upland forests of the southern US, management is increasingly focussed on the restoration and maintenance of resilient structures and species compositions, with prescribed burning being the primary tool used to achieve these goals and objectives. In this study, we utilised an extensive dataset comprising 91 burn units and 210 plots across 13 National Park Service lands to examine the relationships between the probability of stem mortality (P(m)) 2 years after prescribed fire and stem size and direct fire effects for 10 common deciduous broadleaved species. Post-fire stem mortality ranged from 6.9% for Quercus alba to 58.9% for Sassafras albidum. The probability of stem mortality was positively associated with maximum bole char height (CHAR) and inversely related to diameter at breast height (DBH) for all 10 deciduous broadleaved species. Model goodness-of-fit varied, with the poorest fit generally associated with fire-tolerant species and best fit generally associated with fire sensitive species. The information presented contributes to our understanding of post-fire stem mortality and may contribute to the development of fire-related stem mortality models following prescribed burning for eastern tree species. Models should be validated with independent datasets across upland forests types to test for spatial relationships before widespread application.