This study reports the results of light intensity prescribed burning on the vegetation of 3 jeffrey pine-black oak woodland sites in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, California. The 1.2 ha, 85 ha, and 6 ha burn plots were measured for tree and shrub density and basal area 6 months, 1% years, and 2 years following burning for the 3 sites respectively. Each burn site measured was compared against equivalent unburned control plots to help assess the effects of the burning. Density of saplings, seedlings, and herbaceous vegetation was also determined for the woodland understories. Dominance and relative dominance of herbaceous ground cover in meadow areas were obtained to determine the recovery of the bunch grasses.

Tree density and basal area were not affected by the burning except •for a slight reduction in the number of trees with very small diameters at breast height (2-8cm). Tree sapling density was greatly reduced in burn plots when compared to control plots. Mean density of tree seedlings also was generally decreased in burn plots except for Quercus agrifolia, Quercus chrysolepis, and Quercus kelloggii, which increased in some study plots in the most recent burn. Density and diversity of herbaceous vegetation were generally increased as a result of the burning. Meadow bunch grasses were recovering well through the thinning of dead grass in bunches. Muhlenbergia rigens recovered 143% of the live foliar cover 3 months following one burn.

The greatest change which took place as a result of the burning was a significant reduction in density and basal area of shrubs in the understory. The dominant shrub, Mexican manzanita (Arctostaphylos pungens), averaged a 93% density reduction in the burn plots compared to control plots. Other shrubs such as Arctostaphylos glandulosa, Ceanothus leucodermis, Ceanothus paImeri, Cercocarpus betuloides, and Rhamnus californica were also reduced to a lesser extent.

LLU Discipline





Graduate School

First Advisor

Earl W. Lathrop

Second Advisor

David A. Hessinger

Third Advisor

Anthony W. Lewis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Prescribed burning; Fire ecology; Forest management



Page Count

vii; 112

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


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Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives