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Pile burning creates a fifty-year legacy of openings in regenerating lodgepole pine forests in Colorado

Posted date: March 12, 2015
Publication Year: 
2015
Publication Series: 
Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Source: Forest Ecology and Management. 336: 203-209.

Abstract

Pile burning is a common means of disposing the woody residues of logging and for post-harvest site preparation operations, in spite of the practice’s potential negative effects. To examine the long-term implications of this practice we established a 50-year sequence of pile burns within recovering clear cuts in lodgepole pine forests. We compared tree, shrub and herbaceous plant abundance and documented indicators of soil degradation in openings where logging residue was piled and burned as part of post-harvest site preparation and the adjacent forests regenerating after clear cutting. We found that pile burning creates persistent 10-15 m diameter openings with lower tree densities (2.54 cm diameter at 1.4 m height) compared to surrounding regenerating pine stands (2000–5000 trees ha 1). Low tree seedling and sapling densities (stems

Citation

Rhoades, Charles C.; Fornwalt, Paula J. 2015. Pile burning creates a fifty-year legacy of openings in regenerating lodgepole pine forests in Colorado. Forest Ecology and Management. 336: 203-209.