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Project ID: 01-3-2-02

Year: 2001

Date Started: 09/19/2001

Date Completed: 09/30/2005

Title: Tree Regeneration Response to Fire Restoration in Mixed-Conifer Forest

Project Proposal Abstract: This study will determine the effects of alternative fire re-introduction and fire surrogate techniques on tree and shrub regeneration and mortality, in relation to changes in soil moisture availability and light, in the mixed conifer forest of the Sierra Nevada. The Forest Service's February 2001 plan for the Sierra National Forests places a primary emphasis on fire and fuels management and re-introduction of fire as an ecosystem process. New practices are to rely on thinning and prescribed burning, but there is little data on biological responses and stand development following alternative mechanical and burning treatments. The need to reduce density of shade-tolerant fir and promote an open spacing of pine requires careful attention to tree regeneration and shrub response. Fire and mechanical treatments dramatically affect several tree regeneration parameters, including seed production, microclimate, seedbed substrates, and competing vegetation. Foresters attempting to regenerate thinned or burned stands in the Sierra have had mixed success. This study will use burning and no-burning treatments crossed with overstory thinning, understory thinning, and no thinning treatments in a replicated, factorial design on the Sierra National Forest. The study will compare experimental and survey approaches to better understand germination, survival, and growth of several co-occurring species, and the variation and suitability of seedling microsites across the different treatments. Soil depth, soil moisture, and microclimate measurements will elucidate the mechanisms controlling biological responses. Sharing of data and results among multiple scientific studies will greatly enhance our understanding and ability to provide land managers with concrete recommendations on fuels treatments and re-introduction of fire.

Principal Investigator: Andrew N. Gray

Agency/Organization: Forest Service

Branch or Dept: PNW-RMA-Resource Monitoring & Assessment-Corvallis

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept


Ruth Kern

California State University-Fresno

Department of Biology


Malcolm P. North

Forest Service

PSW-Sierra Nevada Research Center


Ray Porter

Forest Service

Sierra NF-High Sierra Ranger District

Federal Cooperator

Andrew N. Gray

Forest Service

PNW-RMA-Resource Monitoring & Assessment-Corvallis

Technical Contact

Harold S. Zald

Humboldt State University

Department of Forestry & Wildland Resources

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
view or print   1645 Government Publication Effects of Thinning and Prescribed Fire on Wildlife Severity
    987 Government Publication A research paper on soil moisture patterns in relation to soil depth and stand structure, and response to thinning and burning treatments.
view or print   3081 Journal Article Influence of Soil Thickness on Stand Characteristics in a Sierra Nevada Mixed-Conifer Forest
view or print   2562 Journal Article Stand Conditions Associated with Tree Regeneration in Sierran Mixed-Conifer Forests
  go to website 44 Website A product of the study will be electronically available and downloadable for the Teakettle study web site.
    1490 Poster Recalcitrant Tree Regeneration Resists Change from Prescribed Fire and Thinning
    1491 Poster Tree Regeneration Response to Prescribed Fire, Thinning, and Microsites in a Sierran Mixed Conifer Forest
    1492 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Tree Regeneration Strategies in Response to Burning and Thinning Restoration Treatments in Sierran Mixed-Conifer Forest
    6292 Poster Soil Moisture and Tree Sapling Distributions in a Mature Mixed-Conifer Forest
view or print   5879 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Twenty-Fifth Annual Forest Vegetation Management Conference: 25 Years of Excellence--Where We Are, Where We’ve Been & Where We’re Going

Supporting Documents

The following supporting documents are available for this project.

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