Wet savanna restoration through harvest and burning

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Frye, Will
King, Bennett
Zehr, Andrew
Issue Date
Scholarship Sewanee 2013 , University of the South , savanna , University of the South Domain , Fuel loading , Forest restoration
This study took place on a 10-acre tract of mixed hardwood and grassland adjacent to the Sewanee airport located in Franklin Co., TN. The objective of this study was to use harvesting and fire as a management tool to exterminate hardwood and pine saplings and propagate the growth of native forb and grass species. The long term objective is to create a wet savanna ecosystem not found anywhere else on the Domain. The site was harvested in 2010 and burned in the spring of 2011 following an analysis of plant cover. In 2013, a plant inventory was taken at 20 points within the site using 1/1000th acre plots. Within each plot, the group measured the percent cover of hardwoods, pines, grasses, Smilax, and Vaccinium, along with fuel loadings along a 75-foot transects. The site was dominated by 1- and 10-hour fuels with few 100- and 1,000-hour fuels. The average total fuel load at the site was 3.6 tons/acre. The site was burned for a second time in late March 2013, and this study will be an ongoing project that requires long-term monitoring and frequent fire management in order to maintain the native forb and grass species that characterize a wet savanna ecosystem