Cape Cod--Plots Burned in the Dormant Season

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The columns of photos below depict two different, 0.1-acre plots from the Lombard-Paradise Research Site. The column on the left shows a "Burn Winter 1" plot--a plot that is burned every dormant season. The column on the right shows a "Burn Winter 4" plot--a plot that is burned every fourth dormant season. As you scroll down the columns, the pictures become progressively more recent; the oldest photos are at the top of the page, and the newest photos are at the bottom.

Burn Winter 1 (burned every dormant season)

date

Burn Winter 4 (burned every 4th dormant season)

1987
Burn Winter 1 plot in July 1987, after two burns.   Burn Winter 4 plot in July 1987, after one burn.

1991

Burn Winter 1 plot in June 1991, after six burns.   Burn Winter 4 plot in June 1991, after two burns.

1997

Burn Winter 1 plot in August 1997, after eleven burns.   Burn Winter 4 plot in August 1997, after three burns.
2002
Burn Winter 1 plot in July 2002, after thirteen burns.   Burn Winter 4 plot in July 2002, after five burns.

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The above photo series illustrates the difference in fuel loads resulting from burning every winter verses burning every fourth winter. For a more quantitative perspective, see below for a graph of the weight of the litter load for the two plots over time.

The weight of the total litter load (including 1, 10, and 100hr woody fuels, as well as 1-hr non-woody fuels) is slightly greater in the Burn Winter 4 (BW4) plot than in the Burn Winter 1 (BW1) plot at the last date on which they were both sampled, in 2002. The fuel weight of the control plots (an average of 5 controls for each year) was greater than the two treatments at the last date they were all sampled, in 1998.

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