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Accession Number 5004984

Title Response of Delmarva fox squirrels to prescribed fires in Mid-Atlantic coastal plain


Project Description Prescribed fire is being implemented in mid-Atlantic coastal plain forests to reduce hazardous fuel

loads. No studies on the effectiveness of these treatments in reducing fuels have been conducted

in the mid-Atlantic. Basic information on the ecological effects of hazard reduction fires in the

mid-Atlantic is also wholly absent from the literature. Our objective is to provide forest managers in

the region with information on the physical effects of hazard reduction prescribed fire, focusing on

fuel loads, and the biological effects, focusing on changes in subcanopy plant community

structure, density of the endangered Delmarva Fox Squirrel, and invasive plant cover. We will

conduct burn treatments in four replicate sites across the mid-Atlantic coastal plain. We will

investigate the hypotheses that hazard fuel reduction fires during the growing season will (1)

significantly reduce hazardous fuels, (2) cause significant mortality in the ground- and shrub

vegetative layers, (3) enhance Delmarva Fox Squirrel habitat, and (4) change cover of certain

invasive woodland plants.

Keywords delmarva fox squirrel, fire ecology, fire effects monitoring, habitat enhancement, hazard fuel

reduction, joint fire science program, sciurus niger cinereus,

Principal Oliver H Pattee, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center:; Carol I

Investigators Bocetti, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center:; Dixie L Bounds,

USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center:; John M Morton, Blackwater

Unit - Chesapeake Marshlands National Wildlife Refuge Complex:;

Laura R Mitchell, Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge:;

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