Oak Landscapes 2
An Auburn University-led study published in BioScience re-examines the role of mesophication, the commonly held hypothesis that fire exclusion is responsible for the declining prominence of oak landscapes in the U.S. Shown is an upland oak forest treated with several prescribed fires at Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest in Clermont, Kentucky. This forest is sparser, with greater light reaching the understory. Increased light produces more flammable conditions and enhanced oak regeneration. Photo courtesy of Heather Alexander.