Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Siyan Ma; Amy Concilio; Brian Oakley; Malcolm North; Jiquan Chen
    Date: 2010
    Source: Forest Ecology and Management. 259: 904-915
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    PDF: Download Publication  (1.89 MB)


    In the western United States, mechanical thinning and prescribed fire are common forest management practices aimed at reducing potential wildfire severity and restoring historic forest structure, yet their effects on forestmicroclimate conditions are not well understood. We collected microclimate data between 1998 and 2003 in amixed-coniferforest in California's Sierra Nevada. Air and soil temperatures, relative humidity, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), wind speed, soil heat flux, and soil volumetric moisture were measured at the center of 18 four-ha plots. Each plot was assigned one of six combinations of thinning and burningtreatments, and each treatment was thus given three replications. We found that spatialvariability in microclimate, quantified as standard deviations among monthly values of each microclimatic variable across different locations (n ¡Ü 18), was significantly high and was influenced primarily by elevation and canopy cover. The combination of thinning and burningtreatments increased air temperature from 58.1% to 123.6%. Soil temperatures increased in all thinned plots. Air moisture variables indicated that treatments made air drier, but soil moisture increased in the range 7.9¨C39.8%, regardless of treatment type. PAR increased in the range 50.4¨C254.8%, depending on treatment type. Treatments combining thinning and burning increased wind speed by 15.3¨C194.3%. Although soil heat flux increased dramatically in magnitude in some plots, overall treatment effects on G were not statistically significant. We discussed the significance and implications of the spatialvariability of microclimate and the treatment effects to various ecological processes and to forest management.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • 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.


    Ma, Siyan; Concilio, Amy; Oakley, Brian; North, Malcolm; Chen, Jiquan. 2010. Spatial variability in microclimate in a mixed-conifer forest before and after thinning and burning treatments. Forest Ecology and Management. 259: 904-915.


    Google Scholar


    Structure, Canopy gap, Logging, Fire, Disturbances, Fuel treatments, Teakettle

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page