Category: Ecological Research
Title: Wildlife responses to thinning and burning treatments in southwestern conifer forests: A meta-analysis
Author: * Kalies, E.L., Chambers, C.L. , * Covington, W.W.
Subject: Mixed conifer, Ecological Restoration, Thinning, Landscape scale, Prescribed burns
Abstract: After a century of fire suppression, conifer forests in the western United States have dramatically departed from conditions that existed prior to Euro-American settlement (Covington and Moore, 1994; Taylor and Skinner, 1998; Fry and Stephens, 2006). With the resulting dense forest conditions and heavy fuel loads, wildfires are increasing in frequency and severity (Covington, 2000). To reduce this threat and the decline in ecosystem health in frequent fire forests, land managers are devising landscape-scale restoration treatments that would reestablish open forest conditions and allow frequent fire to safely return to its role in regulating tree density and fuel accumulation (Sisk et al., 2005; Noss et al., 2006b). A key assumption in designing landscape-scale treatments is that by strategically locating burning, thinning, and other silvicultural treatments, fuel continuity can be disrupted, allowing managed wildfires to burn the balance of the area (Finney, 2001; Agee and Skinner, 2005). A necessary step in designing and evaluating these treatments is understanding the ecological effects of silvicultural and fire management treatments on wildlife.
Source: Forest Ecology and Management
Publisher: Elsevier Science B.V., http://www.elsevier.com/