Prescribed fire history affects pollinator diversity in southern forests

by Virginia McDaniel, USDA Southern Research Center
April 5, 2022

Landscapes with diverse fire histories – or pyrodiverse landscapes – have higher diversity of pollinators, as a recent study by USDA Forest Service scientist Michael Ulyshen shows. The study was published in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.

Tall Timbers Research Station, the study location, is nestled in the Red Hills Ecoregion of the Coastal Plain in northern Florida and southern Georgia. Coastal plain pine forests are adapted to high fire frequency, where the fire return interval is typically between one and three years. Tall Timbers has a long history of fire research and is sometimes referred to as the birthplace of prescribed fire science.

“Tall Timbers was an ideal place for the study, because each burn block had a detailed burn history. Knowing the burn history is half the battle with studies like these. That and the guidance of Kevin Hiers, a fire scientist at Tall Timbers, made the study possible,” says Ulyshen.

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Read the Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment paper: