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Project ID: 15-1-07-19

Year: 2015

Date Started: 08/01/2015

Ending Date:  12/31/2018

Title: Vegetation succession in an old-growth ponderosa pine forest following structural restoration with fire: implications for retreatment and maintenance

Project Proposal Abstract: Stand changes brought on by fire exclusion have contributed to reduced resilience to wildfire in ponderosa pine forests throughout the western US. Growing recognition of how structural attributes influence resilience has led to interest in restoring more heterogeneous conditions once common in these forests, but key information about interactions between stand and fuel development in such stands is currently incomplete or lacking. Few contemporary examples of structurally restored old-growth ponderosa pine forest exist. In this study, we propose to re-measure plots in the Beaver Creek Pinery, a remote site in the Ishi Wilderness on the Lassen NF in California, that were installed following a 1994 wildfire, to better understand forest and fuel succession over time. The BCP experienced five wildfires since 1900 that restored the structure to one believed similar to historical ponderosa pine forest. Overstory and understory vegetation will be quantified at 107 circular plots systematically arranged across the BCP, and all trees, saplings and seedlings will be mapped and measured in six one hectare plots to examine variation at multiple scales. We will also examine the performance of California Black Oak, a declining but important species valued by tribes for food and wildlife for habitat, to better understand how fire interval and severity maintain the conifer and oak mixture. These data are essential for identifying the persistent effects of fire on spatial heterogeneity and fire resilience that are needed for guiding fuels management, especially in landscapes that are designated to use fire as the primary tool for fuels and vegetation management. This project will be broadly applicable to ponderosa pine forests throughout the western US. A great deal of effort is currently being expended to restore these systems  reducing density, favoring larger more fire resistant trees, and promoting a more heterogeneous structure. Using data from the re-measurement, we will also model future stand and fuel development in 10 year time steps, thereby shedding light on how structurally restored forests are best maintained, including the maintenance interval.

Principal Investigator: Eric E. Knapp

Agency/Organization: Forest Service

Branch or Dept: PSW-Silviculture Lab-Redding

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Agreements Contact

Brian T. Hanlon

Forest Service

PSW-Pacific Southwest Research Station

Budget Contact

Anna Wong

Forest Service

PSW-Pacific Southwest Research Station

Co-Principal Investigator

Michelle L. Coppoletta

Forest Service

Plumas National Forest

Co-Principal Investigator

Martin W. Ritchie

Forest Service

PSW-Silviculture Lab-Redding

Co-Principal Investigator

Hugh D. Safford

Forest Service

PSW-Univ of CA-Davis

Co-Principal Investigator

Alan H. Taylor

Pennsylvania State University

Department of Geography


Patrick T. Doyle

Forest Service

Lassen NF-Almanor Ranger District

Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network









Lassen 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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