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Long-term evaluation of impacts of wildfire and mountain pine beetle infestation on large woody debris recruitment and transportation processes
Wei, Adam
This project continues to fit with the strategic goals of the FSP program in providing relevant and timely information, and extension products to support sustainable forest management. The goal of this project is to establish research sites to monitor in-stream LWD input-output processes and transportation under the disturbance of wildfire and mountain pine beetle infestation in forested headwater streams of the BC interior. The results from this proposed study are expected to have significant implications for a better understanding of forested watershed functions, designing riparian management strategies and for developing sustainable aquatic indicators. The best fit for this project is: Program: Sustainability Theme: 1. Ecosystem structure, function and processes, and biodiversity related to forest management. Topic: 1.1 Riparian ecology and management of small streams Note: This project also fits well with the indicators and monitoring systems (3.1) under Sustainability Program The recent Okanagan Mountain Park forest fire near Kelowna and recent mountain pine beetle epidemics throughout the province has generated a significant opportunity to quantify impacts of these 'natural disturbance' on aquatic habitat. This proposed study specifically addresses knowledge gaps related to managing forest ecosystems utilizing a natural disturbance paradigm in areas that would have traditionally experienced a cycle of mountain pine beetle epidemics and stand-replacing or stand maintaining fires. A significant amount of research related to natural disturbance has been conducted in terrestrial environments but limited research has been conducted in aquatic environments. Therefore, the intent of this study is to focus on the aquatic environment of forest streams with particular attention to the role that natural disturbance plays in influencing recruitment and transport processes of in-stream LWD. In aquatic environments, LWD has been recognized for its effect on the geomorphic structure within streams and lakes, as well as serving as a habitat for fish and many aquatic invertebrates. Hence, the dynamic properties of LWD become an increasingly important issue in riparian and watershed management. In this research, the influence of natural disturbance (i.e. wildfire, mountain pine beetle infestation) on LWD input, output and transfer processes will be continuously evaluated. An annual input-output budget of LWD in the riparian ecosystems will be established. The project will provide necessary scientific information regarding the role of forest disturbance in the southern interior of BC. This information is required to support policy, regulations and guideline development, evaluation and adjustment for sustainable forest management. The detailed description of the project design is presented in the 2004/05 proposal.
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Final Techical Report

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