Rationale: After the wildfires in interior BC in 2003, the need for research on forest recovery and regeneration after fire has become more apparent. The McLure fire affected 26,420 hectares of mature interior Douglas-fir forests just south of Barriere, BC (Ministry of Forests, 2003). In the past, fire was the dominant disturbance in Douglas-fir forests, but it is unclear what level of fire severity provides the optimal conditions for regeneration. A major aim of this project is to provide information to forest mangers on designing silvicultural systems that emulate natural disturbances, and also for managing natural disturbances, in order to promote successful regeneration. BC forests are commonly characterized by a mixed fire regime, which includes areas of high severity fire resulting in total mortality of overstory vegetation to areas of low severity fire causing little overstory mortality, thereby creating residual stands of variable complexity and regeneration potential. Forest managers are attempting to emulate these natural disturbances using partial retention cuts and site preparation methods, so it is important to understand how managed and natural disturbances affect resource availability and soil processes (e.g., mycorrhization for nutrient and water uptake) important to natural regeneration). Related research work: The proposed project is a continuation of a large-scale experiment examining Douglas-fir natural regeneration potential after the McLure fire. The project has been funded for three years by an NSERC Special Research Opportunities grant to Drs. M.D. Jones (PI) from May 1, 2004, to May 1, 2007; this NSERC funding allowed the establishment of the experiment, three years of seedling and environment monitoring in the field, and several complementary laboratory studies. It provided stipend and research support for Simard?s PhD student, Jason Barker, complete this work. The three years of funding will cease May 1, 2007, one year prior to completion of the primary research. Hence, this proposal requests one year funding to support PhD candidate, Jason Barker, to complete his experiments, write his thesis, publish the results in leading forest science journals, and extend the results to foresters and scientists at local, provincial and national levels. This project is also related to a CFS Mountain Pine Beetle Initiative project lead by Dr. Keith Egger at UNBC entitled ?Assessment of post-beetle impacts on natural regeneration of lodgepole pine?. Objectives: This project is examining the effects of clearcutting and fire severity on the forest canopy and soils, and their effects on the survival, growth, and mycorrhizal status of regenerating Douglas-fir seedlings. Mycorrhizal colonization links together a number of changes, such as alterations in nutrient cycling, which can occur in soil ecosystems after a disturbance because of their important role in obtaining soil resources. The specific hypotheses being tested are: 1. Growth and survival of natural Douglas-fir regeneration is enhanced with increasing disturbance severity and decreasing residual stand complexity because of greater light, nutrient and water availability; 2. High severity burns are more favorable than clearcuts for survival and growth of natural Douglas-fir regeneration because of greater soil nutrient and water availability; 3. High severity disturbances reduce mycorrhizal inoculum and colonization but do not affect seedling growth; 4. Low severity disturbances hinder natural regeneration potential of Douglas-fir. Methodology: To meet objectives 1-4, we compared five treatments representing different levels of wildfire and forest harvest severity: high severity fire, low severity fire, clearcut with no site preparation, clearcut with screefing, and undisturbed forest. In May 2004, four replicate sites of each treatment were sown with 1000 Douglas-fir seeds each. From May 2004 to Sept. 2006, seedlings were monitored for germination, mycorrhi ...
Forest Investment Account (FIA). 2008. Effects of wildfire severity and harvesting on natural regeneration potential of Douglas-fir in the dry Interior Douglas-fir forests. Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program. Forest Investment Account Report. FIA2008MR052
Topic: FLNRORD Research Program
Keywords: Forest, Investment, Account, (FIA), British, Columbia
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