The effect of season and frequency of burning and mechanical vegetation treatments on herbaceous species composition in pine-hardwood stands of coastal South Carolina. (South Carolina Junior Academy Of Sciences Abstracts).
Fire is known to affect the soil and vegetation in forested
ecosystems throughout the United States. This study was conducted to
determine the effect of prescribed forest fires that occurred during
different seasons and frequencies in forests of herbaceous species to
examine composition and cover in pine-hardwood stands located in coastal
South Carolina. Herbaceous vegetation species were sampled with
fixed-area quadrants in three trials containing six vegetation
treatments. Forbs (i.e. St. John's wort, Blackberry, Violet) and
grasses (i.e. Johnson grass, Cana) were the most common taxa as
estimated by percent cover. The percent cover distribution for the
mechanical/chemical treatments and the annual summer treatments were
significantly different than the controls in most trials for all taxa.
Significant percent cover differences due to seasonal burning (summer
versus winter) were noticed in both plots (annual versus periodic).
Significant percent cover differences due to the frequency of burning
were noticed in all three trials for both winter (trial one) and summer
burning (trials two and three). This study demonstrated the effects of
season and frequency of prescribed burning on the percent cover
distribution of herbaceous vegetation.
Paul Vernon, III
South Carolina Governor's School for Science and Mathematics