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Fire disturbance effects in subalpine forests of north central Washington.Author(s): R. Schellhaas; D. Spurbeck; P. Ohlson; et al.
Source: USDA Forest Service, Region 6 report: 32 p
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
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DescriptionAssessment of the historical disturbance effects across landscapes can provide an important foundation for land management decisions aimed at ecosystem restoration and maintenance. There have been numerous investigations regarding the historic disturbance patterns and resulting stand characteristics in low-elevation, dry forests of the inland west (Arno 1995, Everett et al 1999), yet little research has been concluded locally in subalpine forest communities. Subalpine forests include subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa), mountain hemlock (Tsuga mertensiana), whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis), subalpine larch (Larix lyallii), and some colder silver fir (Abies amabilis) plant associations with high and persistent snowpacks (Lillybridge et al 1995). Based on the widespread presence of charcoal, fire is one of the major elements of disturbance although other factors such as insects, disease and large areas of windfall have influenced the historic and current forest conditions. Historic fire-free intervals (FFI) for these subalpine forests are long, generally over 100 years (Agee 1994). Fire severity is most often very high, resulting in stand replacement (Gorman 1899, Agee 1994, Smith and Fischer 1997).
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CitationSchellhaas, R.; Spurbeck, D.; Ohlson, P.; et al. 2001. Fire disturbance effects in subalpine forests of north central Washington. USDA Forest Service, Region 6 report: 32 p
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