Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .




WOOD PILE
Long-term changes in dead wood reveal new forest dynamics
by Staff Writers
Redding CA (SPX) Feb 12, 2015


Forest managers must balance concerns for wildlife habitat with reducing the chance for damaging wildfires. Image courtesy U.S. Forest Service.

Healthy forest ecosystems need dead wood to provide important habitat for birds and mammals, but there can be too much of a good thing when dead wood fuels severe wildfires.

A scientist with the U.S. Forest Service's Pacific Southwest Research Station (PSW) compared historic and recent data from a forest in California's central Sierra Nevada region to determine how logging and fire exclusion have changed the amounts and sizes of dead wood over time. Results were recently published in Forest Ecology and Management.

PSW Research Ecologist Eric Knapp and a field crew visited three research plots initially established in 1929 in old-growth, mixed conifer stands on the Stanislaus National Forest.

The stands had not burned since 1889 and were logged with a variety of methods later in 1929, shortly after the first survey of the plots. In this study, Knapp and a research crew first used digitized maps to locate and re-measure all live and dead trees in the plots. They later used old plot maps to reconstruct the number and size of downed logs in the 1929 plots and also surveyed logs in the present-day plots.

The research crew compared their present-day data with those from 1929 and documented a more than nine-fold increase in the density of standing dead trees (snags) coupled with a decrease in the average diameter of the snags. Additionally, they observed nearly three times as many logs on the ground (coarse woody debris), but found a substantial decrease in the size of these logs. The majority of downed logs in the present-day re-measurement were highly decayed.

"Because larger-sized dead wood is preferred by many wildlife species, the current condition of more, smaller, and more decayed woody pieces may have a lower ratio of habitat value relative to potential fire hazard," says Knapp. Long-term dead wood changes in these forests pose a challenge for forest managers who must balance concerns for wildlife habitat with reducing the chance for damaging wildfires.

But dead trees, like live trees, can be managed. "To restore dead wood to conditions more like those found historically will require growing larger trees and reducing the addition of dead wood from small and intermediate-sized trees," says Knapp.

"Forest thinning, through mechanical means and/or fire has been shown to slow the mortality rate of the remaining trees. In addition, using prescribed fire and low-intensity wildfire, which preferentially consume smaller and more decayed wood, would shift the balance to larger and less decayed pieces of dead wood, and help reduce fuels that contribute to uncharacteristically severe wildfires."


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
USDA Forest Service - Pacific Southwest Research Station
Forestry News - Global and Local News, Science and Application






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





WOOD PILE
Guidance to report on land use, land-use change and forestry emissions
Brussels, Belgium (SPX) Feb 11, 2015
A recent JRC report finds that EU Member States will face some challenges in meeting the new reporting and accounting requirements for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and removals from the land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) sector, both under the Kyoto Protocol and under recent EU legislation. The latest rules (2013-2020) of the Kyoto Protocol require accounting of all forest a ... read more


WOOD PILE
Court told 'tsunami of evidence' against Costa skipper as verdict nears

Building bridges with cheese in divided Cyprus

Wildfires in Ukraine could revive Chernobyl's radiation

Safe production in Industry 4.0

WOOD PILE
Penta-graphene, a new structural variant of carbon, discovered

Winding borders may enhance graphene

Cheap and abundant chemical outperforms precious metals as a catalyst

Study reveals how oxygen is like kryptonite to titanium

WOOD PILE
Aerial monitors shed light on reed die-back around Central Europe's largest lake

Japan-inspired 'water-house' slashes energy needs

Australia's Barrier Reef 'risks becoming dumping ground': WWF

Heavy rainfall events becoming more frequent on Big Island

WOOD PILE
Iceland rises as its glaciers melt from climate change

Arctic sea ice loss expected to be bumpy in the short term

Arctic ice cap slides into the ocean

Obama recommends extended wilderness zone in Alaska

WOOD PILE
What's next in diets: Chili peppers?

New tools to breed cereal crops that survive flooding

Zara owner drops angora over China rabbit cruelty

'Stressed' young bees could be the cause of colony collapse

WOOD PILE
Cholera kills 19 in flood-ravaged Mozambique

Midwest flooding more frequent

Guatemala 'fire volcano' eruption subsides

Floods created home of Europe's biggest waterfall

WOOD PILE
Senegal hosts US, African army chiefs

UN pulls support to DR Congo operation

Nigeria presidency hopeful Buhari expects 'landslide victory'

Niger parliament votes to send troops to Nigeria to fight Boko Haram

WOOD PILE
Neanderthals disappeared from the Iberian Peninsula before than from the rest of Europe

Scientists call for antibody 'bar code' to follow Human Genome Project

New software analyzes human genomes faster than ever

Complex environments push 'brain' evolution




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.