The Blacks Mountain Interdisciplinary Research team includes U.S. Forest Service, Humboldt State University, Oregon State University, U.C. Riverside, University of Georgia and Wildlife Conservation Society scientists collaborating in research on large-scale manipulation of an ecosystem type extending from Mexico to Canada.
They present their findings in seven articles published as a special forum called, “Ecological Studies in Interior Ponderosa Pine—First Findings from Blacks Mountain Interdisciplinary Research.”
The research is intended to examine how controlled burns and changes in forest structure affect fire risk, retention of old-growth trees, insect infestations, wildlife and soils. It involved 12 plots of about 250 acres each in the 10,000-acre Blacks Mountain Experimental Forest in Northern California’s Lassen National Forest.
The site was selected because stands of old-growth trees can still be found on the experimental forest and research data collected from the site dates back to 1938, one of the oldest records of manipulation of a North American forest.
The scientists thinned stands so they either maintained a variety of sizes reminiscent of pre-settlement conditions or created a single canopy layer of even-aged trees characteristic of when loggers harvested the largest trees. They also completed controlled burns in half of each plot.
The team found that five years after thinning occurred, tree and stand growth significantly increased, and was even higher in even-aged stands with a single canopy layer.
This suggests that in the absence of treatments like thinning and controlled burns, old-growth characteristics will be lost as a result of lower growth rates and higher tree mortality. The scientists reached this conclusion by evaluating decades of growth data obtained on the experimental forest.
Controlled burns had little effect on the growth of large trees, but killed or weakened some smaller ones. Bark beetles were also more likely to colonize these weakened trees and therefore cause higher tree mortality.
The team also discovered a genus and species of a previously unknown ground-dwelling spider. Their research indicated old-growth characteristics intensified fire effects on spider populations because of increased forest debris.
Wildlife findings included a general lack of response from birds to thinning and controlled burns when some large trees were retained and burns were of low intensity.
Roland Giller | EurekAlert!
Loss of habitat causes double damage to species richness
02.04.2019 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
Deep decarbonization of industry is possible with innovations
25.03.2019 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
Researchers led by Francesca Ferlaino from the University of Innsbruck and the Austrian Academy of Sciences report in Physical Review X on the observation of supersolid behavior in dipolar quantum gases of erbium and dysprosium. In the dysprosium gas these properties are unprecedentedly long-lived. This sets the stage for future investigations into the nature of this exotic phase of matter.
Supersolidity is a paradoxical state where the matter is both crystallized and superfluid. Predicted 50 years ago, such a counter-intuitive phase, featuring...
A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter
A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.
Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...
The technology could revolutionize how information travels through data centers and artificial intelligence networks
Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers...
Physicists observe how electron-hole pairs drift apart at ultrafast speed, but still remain strongly bound.
Modern electronics relies on ultrafast charge motion on ever shorter length scales. Physicists from Regensburg and Gothenburg have now succeeded in resolving a...
17.04.2019 | Event News
15.04.2019 | Event News
09.04.2019 | Event News
24.04.2019 | Trade Fair News
23.04.2019 | Information Technology
23.04.2019 | Earth Sciences