Category: Ecological Research
Title: Ecological Restoration of Southwestern Ponderosa Pine
Author: * Covington, W.W., Moore, M.M., * Fule, P.Z.
Subject: Ecological Restoration, Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), Treatment prescription
Abstract: Major ecological changes have been observed in the ponderosa pine forests of northern Arizona since settlement by Americans of European descent approximately 120 years ago. Exclusion of the frequent, low-intensity fires characteristic of presettlement forests has led to great increases in tree density and forest fuels with concomitant decreases in herbage production and water storage. We are applying a restoration treatment consisting of postsettlementtree cutting, excess forest floor removal, and prescribed burning on a 5 ha site to restore the presettlernent forest structure and ecological processes. One third of the site will remain as an untreated control, one third will receive restoration of forest structure only, and one third will receive the full restoration treatment. Over the 20-year span of the study we will measure tree growth, understory production, nutrient cycling, fuel accumulation, and wildlife habitat changes.