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Project ID: 05-2-1-29

Year: 2005

Date Started: 05/12/2005

Date Completed: 05/10/2008

Title: Fuel Reduction and Restoration of Pine/Hardwood Ecosystems Severely Impacted By the Recent Southern Pine Beetle (Dendroctonus Frontalis ) Epidemic in the Southern Appalachians

Project Proposal Abstract: In the southern Appalachians and Cumberland Plateau, a total of over one million acres (with a timber value loss of 1.5 billion dollars) have been impacted by the recent southern pine beetle (Dendroctonus frontalis Zimmerman (Coleoptera: Scolytidae)) outbreak from 1999-2003. These pine/hardwood ecosystems occupy dry to xeric sites (south/west aspects on upper slopes and ridges) that are typically comprised of pitch pine (Pinus rigida), Virginia pine (Pinus virginiana), and/or shortleaf pine (Pinus echinata) and a mixture of hardwoods. Increased fire hazard from dead trees (fuel for fires) especially in areas with a dense evergreen shrub midstory (fuel ladders) provides an unprecedented potential for wildfires. Federal, state, and private land managers are now challenged with large-scale implementation of management activities that: (1) reduce the increased fire risk to widespread dead, fallen and dying trees, particularly in the wildland-urban interface, (2) restore forests destroyed by the beetle, and (3) reduce the potential for development of stand conditions that promote SPB outbreaks and other stand conditions and subsequent future wildfire risk. On pine/hardwood sites that have been severely impacted by the recent southern pine beetle epidemic, we propose to conduct watershed scale studies on the effects of fuel reduction and restoration treatments on ecosystem processes such as net primary production, nutrient and carbon cycling, and vegetation dynamics (regeneration, compositional changes, mortality, diversity). Although a few studies provide evidence of the potential ecosystems effects of fire, little information is available on the use of fire in southern Appalachian ecosystems where fire has been excluded for almost a century. Our research approach will combine watershed-scale (water quality and quantity) and within watershed scale (plot level changes in nutrient and carbon cycling, vegetation dynamics) assessment of ecosystem responses to restoration treatments. The objectives of the proposed research are: (1) to compare and quantify fuel load reduction methods (pine overstory felling, material left on site followed by prescribed fire; pine overstory felling, partial removal of material from the site followed by prescribed fire; prescribed fire only; and no treatment) in pine/hardwood forests heavily impacted by southern pine beetle induced tree mortality, and (2) to evaluate the effects of further restoration treatments including planting yellow pine and seeding native grasses on ecosystem structure and function in these pine-hardwood ecosystems in the southern Appalachian region.

Principal Investigator: James M. Vose

Agency/Organization: Forest Service

Branch or Dept: SRS-Coweeta Hydrologic Lab


Other Project Collaborators

Type

Name

Agency/Organization

Branch or Dept

Co-Principal Investigator

Katherine J. Elliott

Forest Service

SRS-Coweeta Hydrologic Lab

Federal Cooperator

James M. Vose

Forest Service

SRS-Coweeta Hydrologic Lab


Project Locations

Consortium

Appalachian

Oak Woodlands

South


There are no project locations identified for this project.

Project Deliverables

Final Report view or print

("Results presented in JFSP Final Reports may not have been peer-reviewed and should be interpreted as tentative until published in a peer-reviewed source.")

  ID Type Title
view or print   1506 Government Publication Fire Effects on Water Quality: A Synthesis of Response Regulating Factors Among Contrasting Ecosystems
view or print   1519 Government Publication Effects of Prescribed Fire on Southern Appalachian Ecosystems
view or print   3089 Journal Article Journal of the North Carolina Academy of Science
    220 Field Demonstration/Tour  
    221 Field Demonstration/Tour  
    229 Field Demonstration/Tour  
view or print   235 Poster Using Fire to Restore Pine/Hardwood Ecosystems Severely Impacted by Southern Pine Beetle (Dendroctonus frontalis) in the Southern Appalachians
    236 Invited Paper/Presentation Fire in the Southern Appalachians: Restoration of Pine/Hardwood Ecosystems
    237 Invited Paper/Presentation Shortleaf Pine and Bluestem Community Restoration in the Southern Appalachians
view or print   516 Invited Paper/Presentation Using Fire to Restore Shortleaf Pine (Pinus echinata) Ecosystems Severely Impacted by Southern Pine Beetle (Dendroctonus frontalis)
view or print   2339 Invited Paper/Presentation Watershed Responses to Fire
    2340 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Effects of Fire on Watersheds
    2341 Field Demonstration/Tour  
    2342 Field Demonstration/Tour  
    2343 Field Demonstration/Tour  
view or print   4295 Invited Paper/Presentation Effects of Prescribed Fire on Southern Appalachian Ecosystems
view or print   4122 Invited Paper/Presentation Effects of Fire on Watersheds
view or print   4123 Invited Paper/Presentation Prescribed Fire to Restore Shortleaf Pine/Bluestem Grass Ecosystems Severely Impacted by Southern Pine Beetle (Dendroctonus frontalis)
view or print   4124 Poster Using Fire to Restore Pine/Hardwood Ecosystems Severely Impacted by Southern Pine Beetle: First Year Results
view or print   4125 Poster Using Fire to Restore Pine/Hardwood Ecosystems Severely Impacted by Southern Pine Beetle (Dendroctonus frontalis) in the Southern Appalachians
view or print   4127 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Second Interagency Conference on Research in the Watersheds, 05/16-18/2006
view or print   4128 Conference/Symposia/Workshop 2006 Fire Ecology & Management Congress Proceedings, Special Sessions
    6264 Field Demonstration/Tour  
    6459 Invited Paper/Presentation Using Fire to Restore Shortleaf Pine/Bluestem Grass Ecosystems in the Southern Appalachians
    6460 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Restoration of Degraded Ecosystems
    6666 Conference/Symposia/Workshop The Fire Environment-Innovations, Management, and Policy
    5885 Invited Paper/Presentation Prescribed Fire to Restore Shortleaf Pine/Bluestem Grass Ecosystems
view or print   6094 Poster Restoration of Degraded Ecosystems
view or print   6095 Invited Paper/Presentation Restoration of Degraded Ecosystems
view or print   6096 Invited Paper/Presentation Fire in the Southern Appalachians: Restoration of Pine-Hardwood Ecosystems
view or print   5758 Invited Paper/Presentation Pine Regeneration Following Wildland Fire

Supporting Documents

The following supporting documents are available for this project.

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Brief


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