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Fire and forest ecology

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Category: research Video duration: Fire and forest ecology
Adam Coates, assistant professor of forest fire ecology and management in the College of Natural Resources and Environment, leads a prescribed burn with students in Fishburn Forest as part of the Wildland Fire: Ecology and Management course.
[00:00:05] >> We have some research units set up on the Fishburn Forest which is about 5 to 6 miles from campus. The goal of this research is to understand how fire will affect the forest vegetation here. We measure trees, the larger trees that you can see in the unit, but then we also measure what's coming back, the tree regeneration or the baby trees that are on the ground. [00:00:30] Historically prescribed burns are done in this time of year during the winter so we'll kind of see if burning in different seasons like the spring or the fall has a different effect on the regeneration that comes up or how the fuels are consumed. So any time you think about fire on the landscape it takes three things to make that happen, so heat, oxygen, and fuel, so it can be kind of weird to think about trees or leaves and debris as fuel, but from the fire world that's what we think of as the fuel. [00:00:59] So we're trying to figure out a little bit with how we get trees to regenerate or shrubs to regenerate is how much of this material that's wet still. A part, so the stuff is already ground up, how much of that do we burn in the fire and how much do we want to leave. [00:01:11] We call this duff and it's just the two or three years' worth of leaf litter that's been ground up and hasn't been fully incorporated into the soil below. "There's a go." It will give me a good base of knowledge to see prescribed fire in action in the Appalachians, just to see how fire reacts and behaves in a differe