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Effects of alternative treatments on canopy fuel characteristics in five conifer stands

Author(s): Joe H. Scott, Elizabeth D. Reinhardt
Year Published: 2007
Description:

A detailed study of canopy fuel characteristics in five different forest types provided a unique dataset for simulating the effects of various stand manipulation treatments on canopy fuels. Low thinning, low thinning with commercial dbh limit, and crown thinning had similar effects on canopy bulk density (CBD) and canopy fuel load (CFL), but only the strict low thinning significantly affected canopy base height (CBH). In four of five sampled stands, CBD and CFL responded linearly to increasing treatment intensity in those three thinning treatments. The ponderosa-pine/Douglas-fir stand, with its significant understory component, showed little change in CBD with the commercial limit and crown thinning treatments. The diameter-limit harvest exhibited little consistency among sites and, hence, it is not a good silvicultural tool for creating canopy fuel reduction prescriptions. Due to fire-induced mortality, crown scorch (from prescribed fire) was more effective than mechanical pruning (to an equivalent height) at modifying canopy fuel characteristics. At achievable scorch and pruning heights, neither treatment had a significant effect on CBD or CFL.

Citation: Scott, Joe H.; Reinhardt, Elizabeth D. 2007. Effects of alternative treatments on canopy fuel characteristics in five conifer stands. In: Powers, Robert F., ed. Restoring fire-adapted ecosystems: proceedings of the 2005 national silviculture workshop. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-203. Albany, CA: USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. p. 193-209.
Topic(s): Fire Behavior, Simulation Modeling, Fuels, Fuel Treatments & Effects, Mechanical treatments, Naturally-ignited Fire-use treatments
Ecosystem(s): Subalpine dry spruce-fir forest, Montane dry mixed-conifer forest, Ponderosa pine woodland/savanna
Document Type: Conference Proceedings, Technical Report or White Paper
NRFSN number: 11129
FRAMES RCS number: 7359
Record updated: Jul 5, 2018