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Individual study: Effect of fuel treatments on fuels and potential fire behavior in California, USA, national forests

Published source details

Vaillant N.M., Fites-Kaufman J., Reiner A.L., Noonan-Wright E.K. & Dailey S.N. (2009) Effect of fuel treatments on fuels and potential fire behavior in California, USA, national forests. Fire Ecology, 5, 14-29


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Thin trees within forests: effects on mature trees Forest Conservation

A before-and-after trial in 2003-2006 in temperate coniferous forest in California, USA (Vaillant et al. 2009) found that mechanical thinning decreased tree density and cover, and increased their diameter and canopy height. Number of trees/ha (before: 427-1,201; after: 183-587) and canopy cover (before: 38%-71%; after: 28%-60%) decreased after thinning. In contrast, the height of the base of the canopy (before: 1.2-4.0 m; after: 3.4-7.6 m) and average diameter (before: 18-38 cm; after: 25-46 cm) increased. Data were collected in 40 plots (0.1 ha) before (2003) and after (2006) thinning followed by tree residue removal. Thinning was carried out in 2003.

Use prescribed fire: effects on mature trees Forest Conservation

A before-and-after trial in 2003-2006 in temperate coniferous forest in California, USA (Vaillant et al. 2009) found that prescribed fire increased tree height and diameter but did not affect their density and cover. Tree height at the base of the canopy (before: 3.7-4.3 m; after: 6.7-7.3 m) and average diameter (before: 36 cm; after: 38 cm) increased after treatments. However, the number of trees (before: 408-462; after: 351-356/ha) and canopy cover (before: 49-74%; after: 46-74%) remained similar. Data were collected in 42 plots (0.1 ha) before (2003) and after (2006) the prescribed fire in 2003.