Monday, 17 November 2003
Community analysis of fire maintained pitcher plant bogs in the Little River Canyon National Preserve, Alabama, USA
Pitcher plant bogs of the Little River Canyon in northern Alabama, USA contain the federally endangered green pitcher plant (Sarracenia oreophila). The bogs are located on exposed sites with a B-horizon of heavy clay. The heavy clay creates a hardpan resulting in bogs in a relatively dry landscape. Preburn analysis of the vegetation of the bogs indicated a sparse overstory of Quercus stellata, Pinus echinata, and Pinus taeda and a thick midstory of Acer rubrum, Oxydendrum arboreum, and Vaccinium corymbosum. Sarracenia oreophila requires abundant sunlight and open conditions for survival. Fire suppression has resulted in the development of the thick midstory and decline in Sarracenia oreophila populations. Reintroduction of fire greatly reduced the midstory thus increasing the likelihood of the survival of Sarracenia oreophila.