Navigation Links
Fire may be key to reviving dogwood trees in Eastern forests
Date:6/8/2010

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Proper and timely burning of some Eastern U.S. forests could help revitalize flowering dogwood trees, which benefits a wide range of species, a Purdue University report shows.

Dogwood trees act as a calcium pump, pulling the nutrient from deep in the soil and depositing it on the forest floor with their fallen leaves each autumn. It's an important source of nutrition for a variety of species in a forest ecosystem, said Michael Jenkins, assistant professor of forestry and natural resources. Fungi, insects, snails and other organisms that live on the forest floor feed on the calcium-rich leaves, and many birds and mammals consume the protein-rich berries.

"During fall migrations, these berries are an important food source for many songbirds," Jenkins said.

But Discula destructiva, a fungus thought to have been unknowingly brought to the United States from Asia, has caused a serious decline in dogwood populations in recent decades. The fungus kills a tree's foliage and then girdles the tree by creating cankers on the trunk.

"The disease has expanded across much of the flowering dogwood's range in North America," said Jenkins, who co-authored an article published in the journal Forest Ecology and Management with Eric Holzmueller of Southern Illinois University and Shibu Jose of the University of Missouri. "It pretty much decimates dogwood populations. In some cases, we have seen more than 90 percent mortality."

Jenkins and his colleagues studied the effect fire has on revitalizing the dogwood population in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina. He said in forests where there have been two fires over a 20-year period, dogwoods have survived the disease.

Jenkins said the Discula destructiva fungus likes cool, moist areas with little air movement. Undisturbed forests provide that, but occasional burning opens up forests, increases the sunlight that reaches the forest floor and allows greater air movement.

In areas that haven't experienced burns, Jenkins said eastern hemlock trees have moved in and replaced dogwood. The hemlocks create a lower canopy that increases shading and moisture, establishing ideal conditions for the fungus and further reducing dogwoods and potential food sources for wildlife.

"You have these waves of species loss and replacement that alter the stability and function of forest ecosystems," Jenkins said.

Jenkins said prescribed burning on an approximately 10-year rotation might offer a way to maintain dogwood populations in infected forests where eastern hemlock has taken over.

Jenkins and his colleagues next plan to monitor new burn sites to see how dogwood responds and hope to test the direct effects of heat and smoke on the Discula destructiva fungus. The National Park Service Southeast Region Natural Resources Preservation Program, the Great Smoky Mountains Association and the University Florida College of Agriculture and Life Sciences funded the study.


'/>"/>

Contact: Brian Wallheimer
bwallhei@purdue.edu
765-496-2050
Purdue University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Stanford study: Bioenergy potential of reviving abandoned agricultural land
2. Canada provides $1.4M for removal of hazardous trees from provincial recreation sites
3. Climate change predicted to drive trees northward
4. Fighting pollution the poplar way: Trees to clean up Indiana site
5. Why juniper trees can live on less water
6. Secrets of cooperation between trees and fungi revealed
7. Ancient oak trees help reduce global warming
8. Vine invasion? UWM ecologist looks at coexistence of trees and lianas
9. Extinction most likely for rare trees in the Amazon rainforest
10. Shade trees can protect coffee crops
11. Diversity of trees in Ecuadors Amazon rainforest defies simple explanation
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/15/2016)... 2016 --> --> ... Market Research "Digital Door Lock Systems Market - Global Industry ... the global digital door lock systems market in terms of ... is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 31.8% during ... medium enterprises (MSMEs) across the world and high industrial activity ...
(Date:3/11/2016)... 2016 --> ... "Image Recognition Market by Technology (Pattern Recognition), by Component ... Deployment Type (On-Premises and Cloud), by Industry Vertical and ... MarketsandMarkets, the global market is expected to grow from ... by 2020, at a CAGR of 19.1%. ...
(Date:3/9/2016)... BEACH GARDENS, Fla. , March 9, 2016 ... identity management authentication and enrollment solutions, today announced ... DigitalPersona ® Altus multi-factor authentication ... IT and InfoSec managers to step-up security where ... Washington, DC . ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/6/2016)... ... May 06, 2016 , ... Crucial ... Clinical Studio Version 4.1, greatly improves performance of the platform. In particular, Version ... generate tremendous volumes of data to be collected on a per patient basis. ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... BLUE BELL, Pa. , May 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... X. Powers and Lorna Weir launching ... atypical, un-agency way? Because they believe that truly helping ... dynamic world of healthcare now demands a different type ... multidisciplinary strategy lab serving the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... , ... May 04, 2016 , ... Proove Biosciences, ... announce a strategic partnership with McGill University . The partnership is designed to ... market in order to help patients in pain. With the new agreement, researchers at ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... May 04, 2016 , ... PBI-Gordon Corporation is pleased to ... , Doug began his career at PBI-Gordon in February 1988, after finishing his ... variety of roles, ranging from customer service to national product manager, to helping develop, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: