• January 17, 2023
    1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Presenter: Virginia McDaniel, US Forest Service, Southern Research Station

Date: January 17, 2023, 1:00-2:00 PM (central time)

Register here (required): https://umsystem.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJIuduyvpz0jGNQ84qp5q7ls0naZ3yyUxdmG

Abstract: Restoration of the once-open canopy forests in the southern US is now a common goal of many resource management agencies. The Ouachita National Forest uses both prescribed burning and midstory thinning in the shortleaf pine-dominated forests of Arkansas and Oklahoma to reduce woody stem density and increase ground flora diversity and associated fauna. For over a decade, the USDA Forest Service has worked with The Nature Conservancy to monitor progress toward a desired future condition (DFC) in these shortleaf pine-dominated forests and woodlands. DFC is a planning goal detailing what the structural and composition of a forest should look like after management is implemented. We compare the progress on two management areas: one which received extra funding through a Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Project (CFLRP) and one that received only appropriated funding. Since 2010, three measurements were taken three years apart on 200 ten-meter radius plots to evaluate the effectiveness of restoration treatments on stand basal area, tree stem density, and herbaceous species richness and cover. Plots managed with fire and thinning had significantly lower basal area and stem densities, and significantly higher herbaceous species richness and cover per plot. Fire alone or in conjunction with thinning moved plots toward DFC, but plots in the management area with CFLRP funding made more progress towards DFC than those in the management area with no extra funding.