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Project ID: 10-1-10-18

Year: 2010

Date Started: 05/02/2010

Ending Date:  10/01/2013

Title: Tracking Ecosystem Carbon Budgets, as a Basis for Improving and Pre- and Post-Wildfire Management

Project Proposal Abstract: We seek: (1) to better understand the first decade of postfire recovery, by remeasuring C pools on the 27 15-acre LTEP study plots, in years 8 and 9 after the 2002 Biscuit fire, by comparing new and existing measures of C pools to examine changes through time, and by applying a new ecosystem C accounting system to bin up C pools in ways that will aid in their interpretation and eventual use in C-credit accounting; (2) to determine changes in site productivity resulting from silviculture- and fire-induced soil and nutrient lossesby examining planted conifer growth and by completing the C budget with measures of soil respiration to estimate net primary production; (3) to examine how well the StandCarb model predicts C changes associated with soil, postfire decomposition, and site productivity changes, and to improve the model; and (4) to develop models using lidar-return densities and patterns to predict biomass and aboveground C, and apply these models to the 40,000 acres of lidar coverage on the fire to examine landscape patterns of C losses, gains, and fuels postfire. Our study on the effects of intense wildfire is unique because of the high quality pre-and post-wildfire ecosystem-C data (including soils to 30 cm), replicated experimental units with a wide variety of prefire stand and fuel conditions, unburned plots to examine background changes, and sequential lidar on the plots and across 40,000 acres of the fire. Major new conclusions about postfire C budget changes appear likelyespecially whether the predicted reduction in the productive capacity of intensely burned forest resulting from substantial nutrient losses occurs, and the magnitude of ongoing large reductions in the C mass of standing and fallen snags. Application of this research extends to pre- and postfire management decisions with important national implications on controlling climate change by sequestering C and reducing atmospheric CO2, green biofuels to replace fossil fuels, green jobs in rural counties, and possibly as a way to pay for management through C-credit markets.

Principal Investigator: Bernard T. Bormann

Agency/Organization: University of Washington

Branch or Dept: Olympic Natural Resources Center

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Co-Principal Investigator

Robyn L. Darbyshire

Forest Service

Region 6-Pacific Northwest Region

Co-Principal Investigator

Peter S. Homann

Western Washington University

Environmental Sciences

Co-Principal Investigator

Brett A. Morrissette

Oregon State University


Co-Principal Investigator

Stephan M. Nay

Forest Service

PNW-Pacific Northwest Research Station

Federal Cooperator

Bernard T. Bormann

University of Washington

Olympic Natural Resources Center

Federal Fiscal Representative

Rebecca A. Slick

Forest Service

PNW-Pacific Northwest Research Station

Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network









Siskiyou National Forest

Project Deliverables

There is no final report available for this project.
There are no deliverables available for this project.

Supporting Documents

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