Skip to Main Content
The efficacy of salvage logging in reducing subsequent fire severity in conifer-dominated forests of Minnesota, USAAuthor(s): Shawn Fraver; Terrie Jain; John B. Bradford; Anthony W. D'amato; Doug Kastendick; Brian Palik; Doug Shinneman; John Stanovick
Source: Ecological Applications. 21(6): 1895-1901.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
PDF: View PDF (479.67 KB)
DescriptionAlthough primarily used to mitigate economic losses following disturbance, salvage logging has also been justified on the basis of reducing fire risk and fire severity; however, its ability to achieve these secondary objectives remains unclear. The patchiness resulting from a sequence of recent disturbances - blowdown, salvage logging, and wildfire - provided an excellent opportunity to assess the impacts of blowdown and salvage logging on wildfire severity. We used two fire-severity assessments (tree-crown and forest-floor characteristics) to compare post-wildfire conditions among three treatment combinations (Blowdown-Salvage-Fire, Blowdown-Fire, and Fire only). Our results suggest that salvage logging reduced the intensity (heat released) of the subsequent fire. However, its effect on severity (impact to the system) differed between the tree crowns and forest floor: tree-crown indices suggest that salvage logging decreased fire severity (albeit with modest statistical support), while forest-floor indices suggest that salvage logging increased fire severity. We attribute the latter finding to the greater exposure of mineral soil caused by logging operations; once exposed, soils are more likely to register the damaging effects of fire, even if fire intensity is not extreme. These results highlight the important distinction between fire intensity and severity when formulating post-disturbance management prescriptions.
- Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
- During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
- Please contact Sharon Hobrla, email@example.com if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationFraver, Shawn; Jain, Theresa; Bradford, John B.; D'amato, Anthony W.; Kastendick, Doug; Palik, Brian; Shinneman, Doug; Stanovick, John. 2011. The efficacy of salvage logging in reducing subsequent fire severity in conifer-dominated forests of Minnesota, USA. Ecological Applications. 21(6): 1895-1901.
Keywordsblowdown, fire behavior, fuel reduction treatments, Ham Lake fire, multiple disturbances, Pinus banksiana, Superior National Forest, Minnesota, USA, wildfire intensity
- Effects of multiple interacting disturbances and salvage logging on forest carbon stocks
- Singular and interactive effects of blowdown, salvage logging, and wildfire in sub-boreal pine systems
- Postfire survival and flushing in three Sierra Nevada conifers with high initial crown scorch
XML: View XML