A 183-Year History of Fire and Recent Fire Suppression Impacts in Select Pine and Oak Forest Stands of the Menominee Indian Reservation, Wisconsin

By Sands, Benjamin A.; Abrams, Marc D. | The American Midland Naturalist, October 2011 | Go to article overview

A 183-Year History of Fire and Recent Fire Suppression Impacts in Select Pine and Oak Forest Stands of the Menominee Indian Reservation, Wisconsin


Sands, Benjamin A., Abrams, Marc D., The American Midland Naturalist


ABSTRACT.-Due to the paucity of long-term fire chronologies in the upper Midwest, we studied basal cross-sections dating back to 1822 and the impacts of recent fire suppression in pine and oak stands on the Menominee Indian Reservation in northeast Wisconsin. A total of 93 fire events with a fire-return interval (FRI) of 5.9-17.7 y were recorded across all stands before fire suppression activities in 1935. After 1935, we recorded 29 fires. Most stands have only burned 0-3 times since 1935, and only four of 16 stands yielded enough fire years to calculate FRIs. Superposed Epoch Analysis (SEA) determined significantly lower Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) values 1 y before individual fire years. Fire wounding occurred primarily in the dormant season and average tree diameter at time of wounding ranged from 7-30 cm. Current forest composition was dominated by white pine (Pinus strobus L.) and red maple (Acer rubrum L.) overstories, whereas seedlings and saplings were predominantly eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis (L). Carrière), witch-hazel (Hamamelis virginiana L.) and sugar maple (A. saccharum Marsh.). Tree species recorded on similar soils in 19th Century General Land Office surveys were mainly aspen (Populus), white pine and eastern hemlock. We conclude that the combination of logging and decreased fire occurrence over the past century resulted in a compositional shift from historic aspen, pine and oak forests towards later successional northern hardwoods.

(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)

INTRODUCTION

In the Lake States, fire is thought to have been a recurring and pervasive ecological factor in the historical development of regional forests (Maissurow, 1941; Curtis, 1959; Whitney, 1987). Prior to European setdement, forests supporting species such as jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.), northern pin oak (Quercus ellipsoidalis EJ. Hill), red pine (P. resinosa Aitón), white pine (P. strobus L.) and aspen (Populus spp.) burned on average every 4-36 y (Milfred et al, 1967; Heinselman, 1973; Wolf, 2004). Although lightning is an important source of ignition in die western and southern U.S., it accounts for about 2% of fires in the eastern U.S. (DeBano et al, 1998). Historically, lightning-caused fires may not have been as frequent as fires set by Native Americans, even while considering the lowest possible aboriginal population levels (Kay, 2007; Abrams and Nowacki, 2008). Curtis (1959) believed so strongly in the use of fire by Native Americans that he credited them for the origin and maintenance of nearly the entire vegetation complex of Wisconsin. However, the use of fire by the Menominee Indians (Wisconsin's oldest continuous residents; Mitchell and Johannes, 2004) , and its impact on forest ecosystems is largely unknown.

Following European setdement, wholesale logging throughout the Lake States from 1880 to 1900, the accumulation of logging slash and drought conditions resulted in devastating fires throughout the Midwest (Pyne, 1982; Schulte et al, 2007). In response to fires in the 19th and early 20th centuries, fire suppression policies enacted in the 1920s effectively removed fire from the landscape. In particular, the Midwest encountered the largest fire reductions, where highly flammable grasslands, savannas and woodlands were converted to agricultural lands (Iverson and Risser, 1987; Anderson, 1998; Nuzzo, 1986). The remaining oak savannas, brush prairies and pine barrens succeeded to closed forest (Gleason, 1913; Cottam, 1949; Nowacki and Abrams, 2008). Continued fire suppression in the 20th and 21st centuries has led to an increasing abundance of fire sensitive species such as maple (Acer spp.) and beech (Fagus grandifolia Ehrh.), often replacing pyrogenic vegetation that persisted before European setdement (McGee, 1984; Lorimer, 1985; Abrams, 1998).

To better understand the historic role of fire in the development of pine and oak ecosystems and the impacts of fire suppression we examined fire-scarred oak and pine crosssections and vegetation composition from select forest stands on the Menominee Indian Reservation in northeastern Wisconsin. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

A 183-Year History of Fire and Recent Fire Suppression Impacts in Select Pine and Oak Forest Stands of the Menominee Indian Reservation, Wisconsin
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.