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Project ID: 01-3-1-05

Year: 2001

Date Started: 09/19/2001

Date Completed: 11/19/2004

Title: Demonstrating the Ecological Effects of Mechanical Thinning and Prescribed Fire on Mixed-Conifer Forests

Project Proposal Abstract: A critical question in western forests is how to effectively use disturbance to restore forest ecosystems after nearly a century of fire suppression. With increases in stem densities and ladder fuels many forests require a combination of thinning and prescribed fire to produce a stand structure tha.t mimics conditions under histonc fire regimes. In spite of their widespread use, research contrasting the effects of fire and thinning on forests has only recently been initiated with the fire sulTogate study. The Teakettle Experiment is designed to compliment the fire surrogate study focusing on how finer- scale fundamental ecological processes are impacted by fire and thinning, and the cascading effects these changes have on forest health and ecosystem integrity; The Teakettle Experiment uses small plots (4 ha) and coordinated, intensive sampling in a replicated, full-factorial design (including controls) to intensively analyze how core ecological pi.ocesses (i.e. microclimate, nutrent cycling, regeneration, decomposition etc.) respond to two levels of thinning crossed with prescribed fire. Access, site integrity, and on-site interpretation are insured because the experiment has been established in a USFS gated Experimental Forest in collaboration with the Sierra National Forest and their public relations personnel. As a demonstration site (RFP 200 1-3, Task 1), Teakettle's robust design and coordinated research can provide an in-depth, interdisciplinary understanding of the fundamental ecological processes altered by contrasting fflel reduction treatments and their cascading effects on forest ecosystems.

Principal Investigator: Malcolm P. North

Agency/Organization: Forest Service

Branch or Dept: PSW-Sierra Nevada Research Center

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Co-Principal Investigator

Nathan M. Williamson

NPS-National Park Service

Rocky Mountain National Park

Federal Cooperator

Malcolm P. North

Forest Service

PSW-Sierra Nevada Research Center

Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network


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
    137 Field Demonstration/Tour Demonstration Site Including Brochure
    139 Computer Model/Software/Algorithm Materials and Projects Specifically Designed for High School and Undergraduate Students
  go to website 140 Website Study results and dissemination of all findings will be made available through the Teakettle website. (
    5976 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Annual Workshops for Land Managers and Resource Personnel
    5402 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Tours and Field Trips for Interested Groups

Supporting Documents

The following supporting documents are available for this project.

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