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Effects of post-fire logging on fuel dynamics in a mixed-conifer forest, Oregon, USA: a 10-year assessment

Author(s): John L. Campbell, Daniel C. Donato, Joseph B. Fontaine
Year Published: 2016
Description:

Removal of fire-killed trees (i.e. post-fire or salvage logging) is often conducted in part to reduce woody fuel loads and mitigate potential reburn effects. Studies of post-salvage fuel dynamics have primarily used chronosequence or modelling approaches, with associated limitations; longitudinal studies tracking fuels over time have been rare. We resampled a network of post-fire plots, comprising a range of logging intensities, 10 years after the 2002 Biscuit Fire (Oregon, USA). For surface woody fuels, which started from large treatment differences immediately following logging (stepwise increases with harvest intensity), we found converging trends among treatments at 10 years, with convergence nearly complete for fine fuels but not for coarse fuels. Fire-killed snags for the dominant species (Pseudotsuga menziesii) decayed while standing at a statistically significant rate (single-exponential k = 0.011), similar to or only slightly slower than down wood, suggesting that not all snag biomass will reach the forest floor. Live vegetation (largely resprouting sclerophyllous vegetation) is beginning to dominate surface fuel mass and continuity (>100% cover) and likely moderates differences associated with woody fuels. Post-fire logging had little effect on live fuels or their change over time, suggesting high potential for stand-replacing early-seral fire regardless of post-fire harvest treatments.

Citation: Campbell John L.; Donato Daniel C.; Fontaine Joseph B. 2016. Effects of post-fire logging on fuel dynamics in a mixed-conifer forest, Oregon, USA: a 10-year assessment. International Journal of Wildland Fire. 25: 646–656.
Topic(s): Post-fire Management, Salvage Logging
Ecosystem(s): Subalpine wet spruce-fir forest, Montane wet mixed-conifer forest
Document Type: Book or Chapter or Journal Article
NRFSN number: 14429
Record updated: Jun 29, 2016