Surface fuel loadings within mulching treatments in Colorado coniferous forests

  • Published source details Battaglia M.A., Rocca M.E., Rhoades C.C. & Ryan M.G. (2010) Surface fuel loadings within mulching treatments in Colorado coniferous forests. Forest Ecology and Management, 260, 1557-1566.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Thin trees within forests: effects on mature trees

Action Link
Forest Conservation
  1. Thin trees within forests: effects on mature trees

    A replicated, paired-sites study in 2001-2008 in temperate coniferous forest in Colorado USA (Battaglia et al. 2010) found that thinning trees decreased the number of trees and the bulk density of the canopy, and increased canopy height. The density of trees >10 cm diameter at breast height (trees/ha) was higher in unthinned (1,691-580) than in thinned plots (383-55). Canopy bulk density of the trees in lodgepole pine Pinus contorta, ponderosa pine P. ponderosa and mixed conifer forests was greater in unthinned (0.15, 0.12 and 0.14 kg/m3 respectively) than in thinned plots (0.04, 0.04 and 0.01 kg/m3 respectively). However, canopy density was similar between thinned and unthinned in pinyon pine/juniper Pinus edulis/Juniperus sp. forests (0.02 vs 0.007 kg/m3). The height of the base of the canopy of the trees in lodgepole pine and mixed conifer forests was higher in thinned (7.7 and 5.1 m respectively) than in unthinned (5.8 and 2.5 m respectively). However canopy height was similar between thinned and unthinned in ponderosa pine (5.4 vs 2.3 m) and pinyon pine/juniper forests (3.9 vs 3.3 m). Trees were measured in 2007-2008 in three 50 m transect in each thinned (mulched with Hydroax© or Morbark© chipper in 2001-2006) and unthinned plot. Plots were replicated within five lodgepole pine, four ponderosa pine, six pinyon pine/juniper and three mixed conifer forests.


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