Fire Ecology

Research Questions
Although savannas, prairies and many wetlands are known to be fire-dependent, there is much debate concerning the frequency and intensity of repeated fire required to maintain plant species composition and structure. Our work asks how different fire frequencies regulate richness and composition of prairie and fen vegetation, how they structure woody vegetation, and how they affect fire-sensitive functional groups.

Selected References

Bowles, M.L., J.L. McBride, N. Stoynoff, & K. Johnson. 1996. Temporal change in vegetation structure in a fire-managed prairie fen. Natural Areas Journal 16:275-208. pdf

Bowles, M, M. Jones & J. McBride. 2002. Twenty-year changes in burned and unburned sand prairie remnants in northwestern Illinois and implications for management. American Midland Naturalist 149:35-45. pdf

Bowles, M. & M. Jones. 2004. Long term changes in Chicago region prairie vegetation in relation to fire management. Chicago Wilderness Journal 2(2)7-16.  pdf

Bowles, M.L, K.A. Jacobs, & J. Mengler. 2007. Long-term changes in an oak forestís woody understory and groundlayer with repeated burning. Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 134:223-237. pdf

Haney, A. M. Bowles, S. Apfelbaum & E. Lain. 2008. Gradient analysis of an eastern sand savannaís woody vegetation, and its long-term responses to restored fire processes. Forest Ecology and Management(266)1560-1571. pdf