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Fire was widespread and frequent throughout much of the eastern United States before European settlement
 

Summary: Articles
Fire was widespread and frequent throughout much
of the eastern United States before European settlement
(Pyne 1982,Abrams 1992).Widespread burning created a mis-
match between the physiological limits set by climate and the
actual expression of vegetation--a common phenomenon
throughout the world (Bond et al. 2005). In the eastern
United States, presettlement vegetation types were princi-
pally pyrogenic; that is,they formed systems assembling un-
der and maintained by recurrent fire (Frost 1998,Wade et al.
2000).Prime examples include tallgrass prairies,aspen (Pop-
ulus) parklands, oak (Quercus)-dominated central hard-
woods, northern and southern"pineries,"and boreal spruce-fir
(Picea­Abies) forests (Wright and Bailey 1982).In turn,an ex-
tensive array of eastern animal and plant species have adapted
to and depend on fire, either directly (e.g., jack pine [Pinus
banksiana Lamb.]) or through the use of fire-maintained
habitat (e.g., Kirtland's warbler [Dendroica kirtlandii]).
A diverse mix of vegetation and site conditions of the east-
ern United States supported a range of presettlement fire

  

Source: Abrams, Marc David - School of Forest Resources, Pennsylvania State University

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology