The Distribution and Abundance of Fire-scarred Trees in Pinery Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada
Bazely, Dawn R.
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Pinery Provincial Park contains one of the largest remaining tracts of globally rare oak (Quercus) savanna habitat. A prescribed burn plan has reintroduced fire for conservation management. We asked how closely the burn plan mimics past fire history. Reconstruction of the fire history from tree ring analysis of fire-scarred trees was constrained by limits on tree-cutting. Therefore, we assessed the usefulness of non-intrusive data from fire-scarred trees for supplementing limited intrusive data. Firescarred trees in Pinery varied significantly in their scar height (cm), size (diameter at breast height), and density (no. of trees m-2), across the park. The tree species composition varied across the park, and certain species, such as red pine (Pinus resinosa), were more likely to be fire-scarred. However, fire-scarred trees were found everywhere. These results support the findings of a dendrochronologically-based fire-history which showed that since the 1880s fires in Pinery have been mostly small-scale low intensity burns.
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