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Wildlife adaptations and management in eastside interior forests with mixed severity fire regimes.Author(s): John F. Lehmkuhl
Source: Symposium Proc. Mixed Severity Fire Regimes: 177-186
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
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DescriptionLittle is known about the effects of mixed severity fire on wildlife, but a population viability analysis framework that considers habitat quantity and quality, species life history, and species population structure can be used to analyze management options. Landscape-scale habitat patterns under a mixed severity fire regime are a mosaic of compositional and structural stages created by a patchy distribution of fire severity. Live and dead early-seral trees are important within stand habitat elements. Are fauna of interior mixed severity forest well adapted to these natural patterns and processes? If true, then a coarse filter approach would be an appropriate management strategy. I used species habitat data to assess the percentage of breeding species associated with early- and late-seral conditions, snags, and down wood in three dominant interior forest types with low, moderate, and high severity fire regimes. Wildlife appear well adapted to patchy mixed severity landscapes. Analysis showed that fauna in the mixed severity Eastside, Mixed Conifer Forest of eastern Washington and Oregon was a mix of faunal elements from low severity ponderosa pine and high severity Montane Mixed Conifer Forest. Most species were classed as seral/structural stage generalists (44%) or closed-canopy associates (40%). Two families of species of conservation concern need to be considered for additional fine-filter considerations: low elevation old forest associates and broad elevation old forest associates. The latter group is a quintessential mixed severity group of species, with species associated variously with vegetation conditions created by varying fire severity. The life history of each, e.g. mobility relative to habitat patchiness, needs to be considered to design fuel or forest restoration management projects.
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CitationLehmkuhl, John F. 2004. Wildlife adaptations and management in eastside interior forests with mixed severity fire regimes. Symposium Proc. Mixed Severity Fire Regimes: 177-186
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