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Hemlock death and subsequent fire
Joe Roise Offline
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RE: Hemlock death and subsequent fire
What little I know about Hemlock and fire regimes is that they are not adapted to fire and are vulnerable to mortality from fire. They usually grow in moist rich soils which have a very low frequency of fire (hundreds of years between fires). The big ones are found in moist areas that are do not seem to have a history of fire. However, seedlings and saplings can be found throughout the understory of hardwood stands in the Southern Appalachians, most commonly in coves and rich coves. Thus the recent increase in mortality of hemlock in the Southern Appalachians (due to the hemlock woolly adelgid) will result in standing dead trees that in a time of drought will burn, but in normal weather conditions will rot. The big question is what species can replace the rather important function they provide in soil and especially stream side soil protection. Their broad dense crown almost totally eliminates water impact erosion and they produce a thick duff which is also a great ground cover (soil protection).
There is a recent PhD dissertation on hemlock and fire:
Clark, K.H. 2010. Fire Regime Dynamics Following the Mid- Holocene Hemlock Decline in Eastern North America. PhD Dissertation, University of Massachusetts - Amherst
02-16-2012 11:50 AM
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RE: Hemlock death and subsequent fire - Joe Roise - 02-16-2012 11:50 AM
RE: Hemlock death and subsequent fire - wandasbailey61 - 05-06-2012, 08:18 PM



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