The national Fire and Fire Surrogate study: effects of fuel reduction methods on forest vegetation structure and fuels

Dylan Schwilk, Jon E Keeley, Eric E Knapp, James McIver, J D Bailey, Christopher J Fettig, Carl E Fiedler, Richy J Harold, Jason J Moghaddas, Kenneth W Outcalt, Carl N Skinner, Scott L Stephens, Tom A Waldrop, Dan A Yaussy, Andrew Youngblood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Changes in vegetation and fuels were evaluated from measurements taken before and after fuel reduction treatments (prescribed fire, mechanical treatments, and the combination of the two) at 12 Fire and Fire Surrogate (FFS) sites located in forests with a surface fire regime across the conterminous United States. To test the relative effectiveness of fuel reduction treatments and their effect on ecological parameters we used an information- theoretic approach on a suite of 12 variables representing the overstory (basal area and live tree, sapling, and snag density), the understory (seedling density, shrub cover, and native and alien herbaceous species richness), and the most relevant fuel parameters for wildfire damage (height to live crown, total fuel bed mass, forest floor mass, and woody fuel mass). In the short term (one year after treatment), mechanical treatments were more effective at reducing overstory tree density and basal area and at increasing quadratic mean tree diameter. Pres
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-304
JournalEcological Applications
StatePublished - Mar 2009

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