Study

Prescribed fire and mechanical thinning effects on bark beetle caused tree mortality in a mid-elevation Sierran mixed-conifer forest

  • Published source details Stark D.T., Wood D.L., Storer A.J. & Stephens S.L. (2013) Prescribed fire and mechanical thinning effects on bark beetle caused tree mortality in a mid-elevation Sierran mixed-conifer forest. Forest Ecology and Management, 306, 61-67

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use prescribed fire: effects on mature trees

Action Link
Forest Conservation

Thin trees within forests: effects on mature trees

Action Link
Forest Conservation
  1. Use prescribed fire: effects on mature trees

    A replicated, controlled study in 2001-2003 in temperate coniferous forest in California, USA (Stark et al. 2013) found that prescribed burning increased bark beetle caused mortality of white fir Abies concolor trees but not of sugar pine Pinus lambertiana or ponderosa pine Pinus ponderosa. Mortality of white fir trees 11-25 cm diameter at breast height (burned: 4.6%; unburned: 0.2%) and trees 25-45 cm diameter at breast height (burned: 0.8%; unburned: 0.1%) was higher in burned than unburned plots. Mortality did not differ between treatments for sugar pine 11-25 cm diameter at breast height (burned: 2.9%; unburned: 0.0%) and 25-45 cm diameter at breast height (burned: 4.8%; unburned: 0.0%), and of ponderosa pine 11-25 cm diameter at breast height (burned: 1.8%; unburned: 0.0%) and 25-45 cm diameter at breast height (burned: 0.0%; unburned: 0.0%). For trees >45 cm diameter at breast height, mortality did not differ between treatments for either white fir (burned: 0.3%; unburned: <0.1%), sugar pine (burned: 0.0%; unburned: 0.0%) or ponderosa pine (burned: 0.1%; unburned: 0.0%). Bark beetle caused tree mortality was monitored in 2003 in 20 subplots (0.4 ha) in each of three unburned control and three burned (prescribed fire in November 2002) treatment plots (14-29 ha).

     

  2. Thin trees within forests: effects on mature trees

    A replicated, controlled study in 2001-2003 in temperate coniferous forest in California, USA (Stark et al. 2013) found no effect of thinning and mulching on tree mortality casued by bark beetle. Mortality of trees 11-25 cm DBH (thinned: <0.1%; unthinned: 0-0.2%), trees 25-45 cm DBH (thinned: 0%; unthinned: <0.1%) and trees >45 cm DBH (thinned: <0.1%; unthinned: <0.1%) was similar between treatments. Mortality caused by bark beetle for white fir Abies concolor, sugar pine Pinus lambertiana and ponderosa pine Pinus ponderosa trees was monitored in 2003 in 20 subplots (0.4 ha) in each of three unthinned and three thinned (crown thinning followed by thinning-from-below and mulching in 2001) treatment plots (14-29 ha).

     

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