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Chaparral growth-ring analysis as an indicator of stand biomass developmentAuthor(s): Kellie A. Uyeda; Douglas A. Stow; John F. O'Leary; Christina Tague; Philip J. Riggan
Source: International Journal of Wildland Fire
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
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DescriptionChaparral wildfires typically create even-aged stands of vegetation that grow quickly in the first 2 decades following a fire. Patterns of this growth are important for understanding ecosystem productivity and re-establishment success, but are logistically challenging to measure over long time periods. We tested the utility of a novel method of using shrub growth rings to estimate stand-level biomass accumulation at an annual time scale in southern California chaparral. We examined how temporal variation in precipitation and spatial variation in solar irradiation influence that accumulation. Using field measurements and a relationship between stem basal area and aboveground biomass, we estimated current biomass levels in an 11-year-old chaparral stand, and used growth-ring diameters to estimate growth in each year from age 4 to 11 years. We found that annual growth as measured by shrub growth rings tracked closely with patterns of annual precipitation, but not with time since fire. Solar irradiation was not found to be a significant covariate with total biomass by plot, possibly due to sampling area limitations. The close relationship of annual biomass accumulation with annual precipitation indicates that shrub growth-ring measurements can provide a useful metric of stand-level recovery.
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CitationUyeda, Kellie A.; Stow, Douglas A.; O'Leary, John F.; Tague, Christina; Riggan, Philip J. 2016. Chaparral growth-ring analysis as an indicator of stand biomass development. International Journal of Wildland Fire.
Keywordsbasal area increment, biomass accumulation, California, Ceanothus, dendrochronology, fire ecology, fuel, productivity, San Dimas Experimental Forest, wildfire
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