Prescribed Fire in Ecosystems of Florida
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Fig.1. Hardwood invasion in native slash pine (Pinus elliottii) lands leads to fuel accumulation, increased wildfire danger and possible replacement of commercially and ecologically valuable pines. Photo: Pat Toops, Everglades National Park.
Fig.2. Prescribed burn to reduce palmetto (Serenoa repens) understory fuels under slash pine canopy. Photo: Everglades National Park.
Fig.3. Aerial view of prescribed burning operations in slash pine. Photo: Everglades National Park.
Fig.4. This open slash pine stand in Greenwood plantation (Georgia) was regularly prescribed burned for reduction of surface fuel loads. The danger of damaging wildfire (stand-replacement fire) in such open forest is very low. Photo: J.Goldammer.
Fig.5. This open pine stand created by regular prescribed fire provides habitats for valuable game species, e.g. the bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus), and endangered plants (see Fig.6). Photo: Roy Komarek, Tall Timbers Research Station.
Fig.6. Typical fire-following orchids: Yellow fringeless orchid (Habenaria integra) on the left, and Yellow fringed orchid (Habenaria ciliaris) on the right. Photo: Roy Komarek, Tall Timbers Research Station.
Fig.7. Exclusion of fire on small patches allows the regeneration of young pine groups. These provide shelter for game species such as the wild turkey. Photo: J.Goldammer.
Fig.8. One of the objectives of prescribed burning in sawgrass (Cladium jamaicensis) in the Everglades National Park is to reduce invasion of woody elements and to maintain typical marsh habitats. Photo: Everglades National Park.
Fg.9. Spot fires in Everglades National Park by Aerial Ignition Device (AID) from helicopter. Photo: Everglades National Park.
Fig.10. No prescribed brurning program without risk: The everglades ecosystems are agressively invaded by fire-tolerant exotics. This photo shows the paperbark tree Melaleuca quinquenervia which is fire resistant and spreads after fire. Photo: Everglades National Park.
Some literature references on prescribed burning in ecosystems of the Southeast of the USA:
Wade, D., J.Ewel, and R.Hofstetter 1980. Fire in South Florida ecosystems. USDA For. Serv. Gen. Tech. Rep. SE-17, Asheville, 125 p.
Wade, D.D. 1983. Fire management in the Slash pine ecosystem. In: The managed Slash pine ecosystem, Symp. Proc., 203-227, 290-294. Univ. Florida, Sch. Nat. Res., Gainesville.
Wade, D.D., and J.D.Lansford. 1989. A guide for prescribed fire in southern forests. USDA For. Serv., Southern Region Tech. Publ. R8-TP11, 56 p.
More literature can be found in the proceedings of the Annual Tall Timbers Fire Ecology Conferences.