Sandhills Fire Site
The Sandhills Fire Site is a mixed-species sandhills habitat situated on infertile, poor-to- marginally productive soils. This habitat type once was common to this region of the United States as well as to the SRS; however, forest type conversion to longleaf pine plantations has reduced this community type to isolated patches within the SRS landscape. The Sandhills Fire Site was included in the Set-Aside Program because it represents a fire-maintained sandhills community and because of the ongoing long-term studies on the effects of fire and secondary succession in a dry sandhills community. This site provides an opportunity to determine a time sequence of vegetation recolonization following fire. Both natural and human-induced fires are common in this type of community and may be necessary for this vegetation type to persist. The Sandhills Fire Site is one of three sandhills communities in the Set-Aside Program; both the Sandhills Set-Aside (Area #3) and the Scrub Oak Natural Area (Area #29) serve as additional unburned control replicates for studies on the effects of fire and soil properties on community productivity and wildlife use.