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Continuity in fire disturbance between riparian and adjacent sideslopes in the Douglas-fire forest series.Author(s): Richard L. Everett; Richard Schellhaas; Pete Ohlson
Source: U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station/Region 6: 32 p
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
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DescriptionFire scar and stand cohort records were used to estimate the number and timing of fire disturbance events that impacted riparian and adjacent sideslope forests in the Douglas-fir series. Data were gathered from 49 stream segments on 24 separate streams on the east slope of the Washington Cascade Range. Upslope forests had more traceable disturbance events than riparian forests in each of the valley types with a mean difference of 8 to 62%. Approximately 55 to 73% of the total traceable fire disturbance for a stream segment occurred on either sideslope and 24 to 27% in the riparian forest. Plant association groups in the riparian forest had 25 to 42% fewer fire disturbance events than the same plant associations upslope. Fewer traceable disturbance events in riparian forest may indicate a reduced disturbance frequency or a more severe disturbance regime or both. Shared fire events between the two sideslopes (65% east/west, 54% north/south) on either side of the riparian and riparian fire events shared with sideslope forests (58 to 79% among valley types, 64 to 76%, among aspects) suggests significant continuity in fire disturbance between sideslope and adjacent riparian forests. Fire disturbance regimes of sideslope and riparian forests are quantitatively different, but interconnected through shared fire disturbance events. Disturbance events play a role in maintaining ecosystem integrity and we suggest that disturbance may need to be planned for in administratively defined riparian buffer strips (USDA-USDI [FEMAT] 1993) to protect longterm ecological integrity of riparian and adjacent upslope forests.
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CitationEverett, Richard L.; Schellhaas, Richard; Ohlson, Pete, et al. 2000. Continuity in fire disturbance between riparian and adjacent sideslopes in the Douglas-fire forest series. U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station/Region 6: 32 p
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