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    Author(s): Malcolm P. North; Mark W. Schwartz; Brandon M. CollinsJohn J. Keane
    Date: 2017
    Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-254. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 109-157
    Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
    Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (957.0 KB)


    Most of the California spotted owl’s (Strix occidentalis occidentalis) habitat is concentrated in mid-elevation forests of the Sierra Nevada (see chapter 9 for a discussion of southern California spotted owls and their habitat), which are made up primarily of ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Lawson & C. Lawson), mixed-conifer, white fir (Abies concolor (Gord. & Glend.) Lindl. ex Hildebr.), and mixed-evergreen forest types. These forests have undergone substantial change since the arrival of Europeans and are projected to dynamically respond to ongoing factors affecting ecosystem conditions. In this chapter, we summarize some of the historical changes in mid-elevation forests that have most extensively altered ecosystem conditions. We also explore sources and spatial distribution of the more extant changes in forest condition. We then discuss likely trends in forest response to projected stressors, particularly climate change, drought, and fire. Finally, we examine recent research and resulting changes in management practices that might affect future forest conditions in an effort to increase ecosystem resilience.

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    North, Malcolm P.; Schwartz, Mark W.; Collins, Brandon M.; Keane, John J. 2017. Current and projected condition of mid-elevation Sierra Nevada forests. In: Gutiérrez, R.J.; Manley, Patricia N.; Stine, Peter A., tech. eds. The California spotted owl: current state of knowledge. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-254. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 109-157. Chapter 5.


    California spotted owl, forest management, fire, conservation

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