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Fire Ecology


Fire is a disturbnace that is needed to sustain many forest communities around the world. One example is the jack pine forest in the north central United States and Canada. Jack pine has developed what is called a serotinous cone. Serotinous cones are covered with a resin that must be melled for the cone to open and release seeds. When a fire moves through the forest, the cones open and the seeds are distributed by winds and gravity. To see a demonstration of a serotinous cone opening click on the Fire Tornado Demonstration.

Jack Pine Cone

Fire Tornado Demonstration

There is a tree species in the mountains of Virginia that acts like Jack Pine. It is called Table Mountain Pine and it grows in dry, rocky sites along the Appalachia's from Georgia to Pennsylvania. It has a serotinous cone just like Jack Pine and needs hot, fast moving fires for the cones to open and release the seeds.

Table Mountain Pine Cone

The Fire Ecology page    1    2    3

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