Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New study sheds light on long-term effects of logging after wildfire

12.04.2007
Are severe reburns likely with or without logging?

A new study on the effects of timber harvest following wildfire shows that the potential for a recently burned forest to reburn can be high with or without logging. Recently published in the journal, Forest Ecology and Management, the study demonstrates that the likelihood of a severe reburn is affected by the timing – not just the amount – of fuel accumulation after fire.

The study examines fuel accumulation with and without logging after a large wildfire in the Blue Mountains of northeast Oregon. Three treatments were examined: commercial logging that removed only dead trees with value for wood products, commercial logging plus thinning that removed all dead trees larger than 4 inches in diameter, and unlogged sites.

The year after logging (3 years after the fire), sites that were logged and thinned had four times more fine fuels on the ground, as a result of logging residue, compared to unlogged sites. Those same sites also had fewer snags– which provide habitat for woodpeckers, owls, and other animals that nest in tree cavities – and contribute to large woody debris on the ground. However, logging activity caused no change in the litter or duff, the upper soil organic layers that also affect how a fire burns. The study was led by James McIver of Oregon State University and Roger Ottmar of the Pacific Northwest Research Station, U.S. Forest Service.

The investigators used a computer model to project how fuels and fire hazard would change over time. "Long-term research and monitoring are not always possible," says McIver. "Although we would rather have the long-term data, using a model allows us to estimate some of the future ecological effects."

The computer simulation showed that the difference in surface fuels between logged and unlogged units would persist for about 15 years. The simulation also showed that if a fire did start during this time, it would likely kill most young trees as the fire carried through either logged or unlogged stands, even though the logged stands had higher slash fuels. This is because other components of the fuel bed (grasses and shrubs) would contribute significantly to fire conditions, whether sites were initially logged or not.

"The exact nature of fuel accumulation over time is the key to understanding fire hazard," explains Ottmar. "Each forest, each fire, and each logging operation affects fuels differently, and variation exists within any forest stand. It is also important to consider the whole fuel bed when thinking about fire hazard in the future."

Model projections indicated that large fuels will increase over time in the unlogged forests as dead trees fall over, with up to three times greater fuel accumulation as compared to a wildfire area that has been logged. Although it would seem that any extra fuel would be a cause for concern, these large fuels do not carry fire well on the surface, and so do not tend to create conditions for crown fires. Rather, they will tend to cause long periods of heating on the ground.

"Wood can be fuel in the short term or the long term," says McIver, "but that's only part of the story. Wood is also wildlife habitat, and wood provides nutrients to the soil. Fire, ecological factors, and management objectives are all important. Our data show that there are no simple answers."

Sherri Richardson Dodge | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/fera/news/newsletters/2007-feb.shtml

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Dry landscapes can increase disease transmission
20.06.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

nachricht 100 % Organic Farming in Bhutan – a Realistic Target?
15.06.2018 | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Creating a new composite fuel for new-generation fast reactors

20.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Game-changing finding pushes 3D-printing to the molecular limit

20.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Could this material enable autonomous vehicles to come to market sooner?

20.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>