The use of fire as a natural areas management tool can be controversial. The effects of fire on vegetation and wildlife in natural areas is very complex and highly variable. Because it depends on so many factors, the effects can be difficult to generalize. Site characteristics, weather conditions, species’ adaptations, fuel loads, and much more contribute to how a an individual fire or repeated fires will impact species presence and abundance and can cause shifts in natural communities over time.
Generally, species that are adapted to fire and the conditions brought about by fire events will benefit from the application of fire, while species that are less fire-adapted will be reduced by the use of fire in managed lands. However, even individual fires can impact rare species that often exist in small areas where a single fire may have devastating effects on local populations if executed improperly. Those same species may be fire-dependent, requiring periodic fires for maintaining the habitat they need to survive. In this webinar, we will discuss some of the outcomes that are possible with the use of prescribed fire and ways to reduce some of the impacts that may be perceived as negative.
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Source: Christopher Evans, Dixon Spring Agricultural Center
University of Illinois Extension Forestry and Research Specialist
Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences
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