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

eaches 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.


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

Page: 1 2

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