Eastern redbud is rated as fire tolerant due to its habit of sprouting
vigorously after top-kill by fire . However, it is not reported as a
postfire colonizer, and it is not a member of communities which
experience frequent fire.
At the prairie-forest ecotone, prairie fires limit the spread of woody
vegetation. The lack of fire, perhaps coupled with climatic factors,
has led to the encroachment of woodlands (in which eastern redbud
occurs) onto former prairies [1,9]. In eastern Kansas, eastern redbud
occurs in bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa)-chinkapin oak (Q. muehlenbergii)
stands which have established on former tallgrass prairie
(Andropogon-Panicum-Sorghastrum). These forests are normally confined
to galleries along rivers. Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis) and eastern
redbud establish about 10 to 30 years after the cessation of fire (and
following oak establishment) in this area. Long fire-free periods allow
succession to proceed from shade intolerant oaks to more shade tolerant
hickories and eastern redbud. Eastern redbud may replace chinkapin oak
on steep, dry sites. Hackberry is more likely to become dominant on
moist sites . In southern Illinois, a prairie barren was treated
with four prescribed fires between 1969 and 1973 and subsequently
experienced no fires. Eastern redbud seedlings and saplings were first
recorded on the plots in 1983, 10 years after the last fire .
In central Oklahoma, eastern redbud occurred in post oak (Quercus
stellata)-blackjack oak (Q. marilandica) forest which had not
experienced recent fire, and was not reported for post oak-blackjack oak
savanna which is maintained by fire and edaphic conditions .
- 5. Armstrong, W. E. 1980. Impact of prescribed burning on wildlife. In: White, Larry D., ed. Prescribed range burning in the Edwards Plateau of Texas: Proceedings of a symposium; 1980 October 23; Junction, TX. College Station, TX: Texas Agricultural Extension Service, The Texas A&M University System: 22-26. 
- 1. Abrams, Marc D. 1986. Ecological role of fire in gallery forests in eastern Kansas. In: Koonce, Andrea L., ed. Prescribed burning in the Midwest: state-of-the-art: Proceedings of a symposium; 1986 March 3-6; Stevens Point, WI. Stevens Point, WI: University of Wisconsin, College of Natural Resources, Fire Science Center: 73-80. 
- 3. Anderson, Roger C.; Schwegman, John E. 1991. Twenty years of vegetational change on a southern Illinois barren. Natural Areas Journal. 11(2): 100-107. 
- 9. Bragg, Thomas B.; Hulbert, Lloyd C. 1976. Woody plant invasion of unburned Kansas bluestem prairie. Journal of Range Management. 29(1): 19-24. 
- 30. Johnson, Forrest L.; Risser, Paul G. 1975. A quantitative comparison between an oak forest and an oak savannah in central Oklahoma. Southwestern Naturalist. 20(1): 75-84. 
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