New Study About Forests Impacted by Extreme Mortality

http://academic.oup.com/bioscience/advance-article/doi/10.1093/biosci/bix146/4797261

 

Massive tree mortality has occurred rapidly in frequent-fire-adapted forests of the Sierra Nevada, California. This mortality is a product of acute drought compounded by the long-established removal of a key ecosystem process: frequent, low- to moderate-intensity fire. The recent tree mortality has many implications for the future of these forests and the ecological goods and services they provide to society. Future wildfire hazard following this mortality can be generally characterized by decreased crown fire potential and increased surface fire intensity in the short to intermediate term. The scale of present tree mortality is so large that greater potential for “mass fire” exists in the coming decades, driven by the amount and continuity of dry, combustible, large woody material that could produce large, severe fires. For long-term adaptation to climate change, we highlight the importance of moving beyond triage of dead and dying trees to making “green” (live) forests more resilient.

4 Comments

  1. The reality is that we have to harvest timber if we want to have forests. The recent fire seasons should be enough to demonstrate that we can’t let the current forests burn due to density and populations. We can have healthy forests with fire resilience, but not under current regulations.
    The title should be; “Will those opposed to effective management successfully kill off our national forests?”

  2. The sad thing is that some enviros have now swung from one nonsensical extreme to the other. First they wanted to “preserve” forests instead of protecting them through a continuity of all ages in order to provide for uninterupted sistainability. Now they don’t care whether massive acreages get turned into grasslands, remain barren and erode the precious soils or whatever as long as “whatever happens” doesn’t happen because of sound science based forest management.

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