Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ponderosa Pine Forests Need Thinning Or Controlled Burns To Keep Old-Growth Characteristics

Date:
May 16, 2008
Source:
US Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station
Summary:
Preliminary findings in one of the first landscape-scale experiments on how forest management affects western Ponderosa pine ecosystems have been completed. The results suggests that in the absence of treatments like thinning and controlled burns, old-growth characteristics will be lost as a result of lower growth rates and higher tree mortality. The scientists reached this conclusion by evaluating decades of growth data obtained on the experimental forest.

The May issue of the Canadian Journal of Forest Research presents the preliminary findings of 23 scientists involved in one of the first landscape-scale experiments on how forest management affects western Ponderosa pine ecosystems.

The Blacks Mountain Interdisciplinary Research team includes U.S. Forest Service, Humboldt State University, Oregon State University, U.C. Riverside, University of Georgia and Wildlife Conservation Society scientists collaborating in research on large-scale manipulation of an ecosystem type extending from Mexico to Canada.

They present their findings in seven articles published as a special forum called, "Ecological Studies in Interior Ponderosa Pine--First Findings from Blacks Mountain Interdisciplinary Research."

The research is intended to examine how controlled burns and changes in forest structure affect fire risk, retention of old-growth trees, insect infestations, wildlife and soils. It involved 12 plots of about 250 acres each in the 10,000-acre Blacks Mountain Experimental Forest in Northern California's Lassen National Forest.

The site was selected because stands of old-growth trees can still be found on the experimental forest and research data collected from the site dates back to 1938, one of the oldest records of manipulation of a North American forest.

The scientists thinned stands so they either maintained a variety of sizes reminiscent of pre-settlement conditions or created a single canopy layer of even-aged trees characteristic of when loggers harvested the largest trees. They also completed controlled burns in half of each plot.

The team found that five years after thinning occurred, tree and stand growth significantly increased, and was even higher in even-aged stands with a single canopy layer.

This suggests that in the absence of treatments like thinning and controlled burns, old-growth characteristics will be lost as a result of lower growth rates and higher tree mortality. The scientists reached this conclusion by evaluating decades of growth data obtained on the experimental forest.

Controlled burns had little effect on the growth of large trees, but killed or weakened some smaller ones. Bark beetles were also more likely to colonize these weakened trees and therefore cause higher tree mortality.

The team also discovered a genus and species of a previously unknown ground-dwelling spider. Their research indicated old-growth characteristics intensified fire effects on spider populations because of increased forest debris.

Wildlife findings included a general lack of response from birds to thinning and controlled burns when some large trees were retained and burns were of low intensity.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by US Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

US Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. "Ponderosa Pine Forests Need Thinning Or Controlled Burns To Keep Old-Growth Characteristics." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 May 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080516094431.htm>.
US Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. (2008, May 16). Ponderosa Pine Forests Need Thinning Or Controlled Burns To Keep Old-Growth Characteristics. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080516094431.htm
US Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. "Ponderosa Pine Forests Need Thinning Or Controlled Burns To Keep Old-Growth Characteristics." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080516094431.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre

Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre

AP (July 29, 2014) Food scraps and other items left on the grounds by picnickers brings unwelcome visitors to the grounds of the world famous and popular Louvre Museum in Paris. (July 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jane Goodall Warns Great Apes Face Extinction

Jane Goodall Warns Great Apes Face Extinction

AFP (July 29, 2014) The world's great apes face extinction within decades, renowned chimpanzee expert Jane Goodall warned Tuesday in a call to arms to ensure man's closest relatives are not wiped out. Duration: 00:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rat Infestation at Paris' Tuileries Garden

Rat Infestation at Paris' Tuileries Garden

AFP (July 29, 2014) An infestation of rats is causing concern among tourists at Paris' most famous park -- the Tuileries garden next to the Louvre Museum. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins