Five-year post-restoration conditions and simulated climate-change trajectories in a warm/dry mixed-conifer forest, southwestern Colorado, USA



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Category: Ecological Research

Title: Five-year post-restoration conditions and simulated climate change trajectories in a warm/dry mixed-conifer forest, southwestern Colorado, USA.

Author: * Stoddard, M.T., * Sanchez-Meador, A.J. , * Fule, P.Z. , * Korb, J.E.

Subject: Climate Change, Mixed Conifer, Restoration

Abstract: Some warm/dry mixed-conifer forests are at increasing risk of uncharacteristically large, high-severity fires. As a result, managers have begun ecological restoration efforts using treatments such as mechanical thinning and prescribed fire. Empirical information on the long-term impacts of these treatments is limited, especially in light of potential climate change. We assessed changes in forest structure and composition five-years following three alternative restoration treatments in a warm/dry mixed-conifer forest: (1) thin/burn, (2) prescribe burn, and (3) control. We used the Climate-Forest Vegetation Simulator (Climate-FVS) model to quantify potential forest trajectories under alternative climate scenar- ios. Five years following treatments, changes in forest structure were similar to initial post-treatment conditions, with thin/burn being the only treatment to shift and maintain forest structure and composi- tion within historical reference conditions. By 2013, the thin/burn had reduced basal area (11.3 m2 ha

Date: 2015

Type: Journal

Source: Forest Ecology and Management

Identifier: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2015.07.007

Publisher: Elsevier Science Publishers B.V.

Format: PDF

Language: English