Limits...
Using topography to meet wildlife and fuels treatment objectives in fire-suppressed landscapes.

Underwood EC, Viers JH, Quinn JF, North M - Environ Manage (2010)

Bottom Line: Stand conditions varied significantly between LMUs, with canyons consistently having the greatest stem and snag densities.Pacific fisher (Martes pennanti) activity points (from radio telemetry) and California spotted owl (Strix occidentalis occidentalis) nests, roosts, and sightings were both significantly different from uniform, with a disproportionate number of observations in canyons, and fewer than expected on ridge-tops.These LMUs provide a framework that can potentially be applied to other fire-dependent western forests with steep topographic relief.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Environmental Science and Policy, University of California, Davis, 95616, USA. eunderwoodrussell@ucdavis.edu

ABSTRACT
Past forest management practices, fire suppression, and climate change are increasing the need to actively manage California Sierra Nevada forests for multiple environmental amenities. Here we present a relatively low-cost, repeatable method for spatially parsing the landscape to help the U.S. Forest Service manage for different forest and fuel conditions to meet multiple goals relating to sensitive species, fuels reduction, forest products, water, carbon storage, and ecosystem restoration. Using the Kings River area of the Sierra Nevada as a case study, we create areas of topographically-based units, Landscape Management Units (LMUs) using a three by three matrix (canyon, mid-slope, ridge-top and northerly, southerly, and neutral aspects). We describe their size, elevation, slope, aspect, and their difference in inherent wetness and solar radiation. We assess the predictive value and field applicability of LMUs by using existing data on stand conditions and two sensitive wildlife species. Stand conditions varied significantly between LMUs, with canyons consistently having the greatest stem and snag densities. Pacific fisher (Martes pennanti) activity points (from radio telemetry) and California spotted owl (Strix occidentalis occidentalis) nests, roosts, and sightings were both significantly different from uniform, with a disproportionate number of observations in canyons, and fewer than expected on ridge-tops. Given the distinct characteristics of the LMUs, these units provide a relatively simple but ecologically meaningful template for managers to spatially allocate forest treatments, thereby meeting multiple National Forest objectives. These LMUs provide a framework that can potentially be applied to other fire-dependent western forests with steep topographic relief.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

An example of stem density per hectare in canyon Landscape Management Units by seven size classes. Shade-intolerant species: PIJE = Pinus jeffreyi and PILA = Pinus lambertiana; shade-tolerant species: ABCO = Abies concolor and CADE = Calecedrus decurrens
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Fig2: An example of stem density per hectare in canyon Landscape Management Units by seven size classes. Shade-intolerant species: PIJE = Pinus jeffreyi and PILA = Pinus lambertiana; shade-tolerant species: ABCO = Abies concolor and CADE = Calecedrus decurrens

Mentions: The composition of stands within LMUs grouped by slope position class (canyon, mid-slope, ridge) all demonstrated a declining density of trees with increasing dbh size. Highest stem density per hectare was found in the smallest dbh class (0–25 cm) with the second class (25–50 cm) having four times fewer stems in canyons and mid-slope, and six times fewer in ridge groups (Fig. 2). The proportion of shade-intolerant species (P. jeffreyi and P. lambertiana) was low, accounting for 4% in canyon and ridge LMUs and 2% on mid-slopes. By size class, they accounted for 15 and 13% or less of all stems on canyons and ridges respectively, and less than 7% in five of the 7 size classes of mid-slopes (in the remaining classes they accounted for 6 out of 23 stems between 100–125 cm and half of the 12 stems between 125–150 cm) (Table 3). In contrast, the proportion of shade-tolerant species (A. concolor and C.decurrens) accounted for over 50% of stems across each LMU. By size class in canyon and mid-slope LMUs they accounted for over 55 and 30% respectively (with the exception of the 125–150 cm class), and on ridges 27% or more in the three size classes where present (Table 3).Fig. 2


Using topography to meet wildlife and fuels treatment objectives in fire-suppressed landscapes.

Underwood EC, Viers JH, Quinn JF, North M - Environ Manage (2010)

An example of stem density per hectare in canyon Landscape Management Units by seven size classes. Shade-intolerant species: PIJE = Pinus jeffreyi and PILA = Pinus lambertiana; shade-tolerant species: ABCO = Abies concolor and CADE = Calecedrus decurrens
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2962888&req=5

Fig2: An example of stem density per hectare in canyon Landscape Management Units by seven size classes. Shade-intolerant species: PIJE = Pinus jeffreyi and PILA = Pinus lambertiana; shade-tolerant species: ABCO = Abies concolor and CADE = Calecedrus decurrens
Mentions: The composition of stands within LMUs grouped by slope position class (canyon, mid-slope, ridge) all demonstrated a declining density of trees with increasing dbh size. Highest stem density per hectare was found in the smallest dbh class (0–25 cm) with the second class (25–50 cm) having four times fewer stems in canyons and mid-slope, and six times fewer in ridge groups (Fig. 2). The proportion of shade-intolerant species (P. jeffreyi and P. lambertiana) was low, accounting for 4% in canyon and ridge LMUs and 2% on mid-slopes. By size class, they accounted for 15 and 13% or less of all stems on canyons and ridges respectively, and less than 7% in five of the 7 size classes of mid-slopes (in the remaining classes they accounted for 6 out of 23 stems between 100–125 cm and half of the 12 stems between 125–150 cm) (Table 3). In contrast, the proportion of shade-tolerant species (A. concolor and C.decurrens) accounted for over 50% of stems across each LMU. By size class in canyon and mid-slope LMUs they accounted for over 55 and 30% respectively (with the exception of the 125–150 cm class), and on ridges 27% or more in the three size classes where present (Table 3).Fig. 2

Bottom Line: Stand conditions varied significantly between LMUs, with canyons consistently having the greatest stem and snag densities.Pacific fisher (Martes pennanti) activity points (from radio telemetry) and California spotted owl (Strix occidentalis occidentalis) nests, roosts, and sightings were both significantly different from uniform, with a disproportionate number of observations in canyons, and fewer than expected on ridge-tops.These LMUs provide a framework that can potentially be applied to other fire-dependent western forests with steep topographic relief.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Environmental Science and Policy, University of California, Davis, 95616, USA. eunderwoodrussell@ucdavis.edu

ABSTRACT
Past forest management practices, fire suppression, and climate change are increasing the need to actively manage California Sierra Nevada forests for multiple environmental amenities. Here we present a relatively low-cost, repeatable method for spatially parsing the landscape to help the U.S. Forest Service manage for different forest and fuel conditions to meet multiple goals relating to sensitive species, fuels reduction, forest products, water, carbon storage, and ecosystem restoration. Using the Kings River area of the Sierra Nevada as a case study, we create areas of topographically-based units, Landscape Management Units (LMUs) using a three by three matrix (canyon, mid-slope, ridge-top and northerly, southerly, and neutral aspects). We describe their size, elevation, slope, aspect, and their difference in inherent wetness and solar radiation. We assess the predictive value and field applicability of LMUs by using existing data on stand conditions and two sensitive wildlife species. Stand conditions varied significantly between LMUs, with canyons consistently having the greatest stem and snag densities. Pacific fisher (Martes pennanti) activity points (from radio telemetry) and California spotted owl (Strix occidentalis occidentalis) nests, roosts, and sightings were both significantly different from uniform, with a disproportionate number of observations in canyons, and fewer than expected on ridge-tops. Given the distinct characteristics of the LMUs, these units provide a relatively simple but ecologically meaningful template for managers to spatially allocate forest treatments, thereby meeting multiple National Forest objectives. These LMUs provide a framework that can potentially be applied to other fire-dependent western forests with steep topographic relief.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus