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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Live oak saplings survive prescribed fire and sprout

  • Author(s): Tietje, William D.
  • Vreeland, Justin K.
  • Weitkamp, William H.
  • et al.

Sapling surveys conducted before and after a prescribed fire in an oak woodland revealed that approximately half of marked blue oak and coast live oak saplings were top-killed (aboveground tissue of sapling killed) by the fire. Most top-killed saplings sprouted, and sprout growth was strong within one growing season. Light-intensity prescribed fires probably have little effect on overall sapling survival and recruitment, and may benefit individual saplings by reducing competition and recycling nutrients.

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