Eric E. Knapp
3644 Avtech Parkway
Redding, CA 96002
Contact Eric E. Knapp
- Long-term forest change with recovery from logging in absence of fire, Stanislaus-Tuolumne Experimental Forest. We are investigating changes to the overstory, understory, and stand spatial structure that have occurred since prior to logging in three recently rediscovered plots from a "Methods of Cutting" study established in 1929. By reconstructing what forests used to look like, we hope to shed light on how historical structure affected biodiversity and resilience to fire.
- Variable Density Thinning study, Stanislaus-Tuolumne Experimental Forest. We are evaluating the influence of stand spatial structure and prescribed fire on small mammals, birds, tree regeneration, tree growth, and understory diversity. A new thinning prescription designed to produce a highly diverse structure is being compared with a prescription where trees are thinned more evenly. The ultimate goal is to investigate new means of achieving multiple forest management objectives, from fuel reduction to habitat creation for multiple species.
- Large tree health following thinning and prescribed fire, Stanislaus-Tuolumne Experimental Forest. Long-term exclusion of fire threatens the long-term health of large pines by allowing new trees to establish that compete with the larger trees for water. The build-up of fuels at the base of these large trees also means that mortality after a prescribed fire may now be substantial. We are investigating how different strategies for reintroducing fire after thinning affects the survival and vigor of large legacy pines.
- Fire severity patterns in the Klamath Mountains. We are investigating the relative contribution of various topographic, weather, and fuel variables on patterns of fire severity using satellite remote sensing data and statistical models. Our goal is to be able to predict effects to the landscape and habitat to key species, such as the northern spotted owl, of fire burning under different conditions.
- Variable Retention Salvage study, Blacks Mountain Experimental Forest. We are studying how the volume of removal (amount of salvage or disturbance) after a stand replacing fire affects native and exotic species cover and diversity. Treatments being compared range from 100% of the stand basal salvaged to no salvage, in 25% increments.
- Fire and Fire Surrogate study - Southern Cascades site, Goosenest Adaptive Management Area, Klamath National Forest. Ecological effects of mechanical thinning with and without prescribed fire are being compared to unthinned plots and plots where fire was introduced without prior mechanical treatment, to determine the extent to which mechanical disturbance can emulate fire.
- Balancing fuel reduction, soil exposure, and potential for erosion, Lake Tahoe Basin. Pattern of soil exposure is being evaluated for different mastication and prescribed fire treatments under different soil moisture conditions, and the effect of pattern of soil exposure on soil erosion is being tested with erosion simulators. Outside partners: Drs. Andrew Stubblefield and J. Morgan Varner, Humboldt State University.
- Effect of fire on a rare orchid, Modoc National Forest. Whether Cypripedium montanum can be maintained when fire is reintroduced after a long period of exclusion, and mechanisms by which this and other species survived and/or benefited from fire historically, are being studied using demographic surveys in plots either subject to a prescribed burn or not.
My current research is focused on forest ecology in relation to disturbance, particularly fire. I am interested in understanding changes that have occurred in the absence of fire and as forests have recovered from past logging disturbance, and the effect of these changes on forest resilience to fire, climate change, and other disturbances. I use historical information from photographs, old vegetation plots, and fire scars as a means of understanding the extent, severity, and frequency of past disturbance, as well as studies of areas with intact or near-intact fire regimes. Both can provide important lessons for the management of our forests today. Other interests include understanding the ecological effects and fire behavior implications of different forest and fuel management practices, the ability of fuel treatments (mechanical and prescribed fire) to emulate natural disturbance, the effect of fire on the habitat of plant and animal species, and the effect of prescribed fire season.
Fire behavior, fire effects, and vegetation recovery after mechanical mastication treatments. Ladder fuels (shrubs and small trees) without commercial value or at the wildland urban interface (WUI) are increasingly being managed by mastication (chipping, with chips dispersed on the forest floor). We evaluated fuel characteristics at ten sites and conducted prescribed burns at two (and in the laboratory) in order to better understand fire behavior, soil heating, and fire effects. Outside partner: Dr. J. Morgan Varner, Humboldt State University. Masticated Fuels Research web page
- University of California, Ph.D. Genetics, emphasis population genetics, plant ecology, plant population biology, 1992
- University of California, M.S. Agronomy, 1988
- University of California, B.A. Biology, 1985
Publications & Products
- Knapp, Eric E.; Skinner, Carl N.; North, Malcolm P.; Estes, Becky L. 2013. Long-term overstory and understory change following logging and fire exclusion in a Sierra Nevada mixed-conifer forest.
- Ryan, Kevin C.; Knapp, Eric E.; Varner, J. Morgan. 2013. Prescribed fire in North American forests and woodlands: history, current practice, and challenges.
- Lydersen, Jamie M.; North, Malcolm P.; Knapp, Eric E.; Collins, Brandon M. 2013. Quantifying spatial patterns of tree groups and gaps in mixed-conifer forests: reference conditions and long-term changes following fire suppression and logging.
- Ritchie, Martin W.; Knapp, Eric E.; Skinner, Carl N. 2013. Snag longevity and surface fuel accumulation following post-fire logging in a ponderosa pine dominated forest.
- Knapp, E.; North, M.; Benech, M.; Estes, B. 2012. Chapter 12: The variable-density thinning study at Stanislaus-Tuolumne Experimental Forest.
- McIver, James D.; Stephens, Scott L.; Agee, James K.; Barbour, Jamie; Boerner, Ralph E. J.; Edminster, Carl B.; Erickson, Karen L.; Farris, Kerry L.; Fettig, Christopher J.; Fiedler, Carl E.; Haase, Sally; Hart, Stephen C.; Keeley, Jon E.; Knapp, Eric E.; Lehmkuhl, John F.; Moghaddas, Jason J.; Otrosina, William; Outcalt, Kenneth W.; Schwilk, Dylan W.; Skinner, Carl N.; Waldrop, Thomas A.; Weatherspoon, C. Phillip; Yaussy, Daniel A.; Youngblood, Andrew; Zack, Steve. 2012. Ecological effects of alternative fuel-reduction treatments: highlights of the National Fire and Fire Surrogate study (FFS).
- Stephens, Scott L.; Boerner, Ralph E. J.; Moghaddas, Jason J.; Moghaddas, Emily E. Y.; Collins, Brandon M.; Dow, Christopher B.; Edminster, Carl; Fiedler, Carl E.; Fry, Danny L.; Hartsough, Bruce R.; Keeley, Jon E.; Knapp, Eric E.; McIver, James D.; Skinner, Carl N.; Youngblood, Andrew. 2012. Fuel treatment impacts on estimated wildfire carbon loss from forests in Montana, Oregon, California, and Arizona.
- Kreye, Jesse K.; Varner, J.Morgan; Knapp, Eric E. 2012. Moisture desorption in mechanically masticated fuels: effects of particle fracturing and fuelbed compaction.
- Estes, Becky L.; Knapp, Eric E.; Skinner, Carl N.; Uzoh, Fabian C. C. 2012. Seasonal variation in surface fuel moisture between unthinned and thinned mixed conifer forest, northern California, USA.
- Knapp, Eric E.; Weatherspoon, Phillip C.; Skinner, Carl N. 2012. Shrub seed banks in mixed conifer forests of northern California and the role of fire in regulating abundance.
- Miller, J. D.; Skinner, Carl; Safford, H. D.; Knapp, Eric E.; Ramirez, C. M. 2012. Trends and causes of severity, size, and number of fires in northwestern California, USA.
- Knapp, Eric; Varner, J. Morgan; Busse, Matt; Skinner, Carl; Shestak, Carol. 2011. Behaviour and effects of prescribed fire in masticated fuelbeds.
- Kreye, Jesse K.; Varner, J. Morgan; Knapp, Eric E. 2011. Effects of particle fracturing and moisture content on fire behaviour in masticated fuelbeds burned in a laboratory.
- Van Mantgem, Phillip J.; Stephenson, Nathan L.; Knapp, Eric; Barrles, John; Keeley, Jon E. 2011. Long-term effects of prescribed fire on mixed conifer forest structure in the Sierra Nevada, California.
- Busse, Matt; Shestak, Carol; Hubbert, Ken; Knapp, Eric. 2010. Soil physical properties regulate lethal heating during burning of woody residues.
- Spies, Thomas A.; Miller, Jay D.; Buchanan, Joseph B.; Lehmkuhl, John F.; Franklin, Jerry F.; Healey, Sean P.; Hessburg, Paul F.; Safford, Hugh D.; Cohen, Warren B.; Kennedy, Rebecca S.H.; Knapp, Eric E.; Agee, James K.; Moeur, Melinda. 2010. Underestimating risks to the northern spotted owl in fire-prone forests: response to Hanson et al.
- Kane, Jeffrey M.; Varner, J. Morgan; Knapp, Eric E. 2010. Understory vegetation response to mechanical mastication and other fuels treatments in a ponderosa pine forest.
- Miller, Jay D.; Knapp, Eric E.; Key, Carl H.; Skinner, Carl N.; Isbell, Clint J.; Creasy, R. Max; Sherlock, Joseph W. 2009. Calibration and validation of the relative differenced Normalized Burn Ratio (RdNBR) to three measures of fire severity in the Sierra Nevada and Klamath Mountains, California, USA.
- Knapp, Eric E.; Estes, Becky L.; Skinner, Carl N. 2009. Ecological effects of prescribed fire season: a literature review and synthesis for managers.
- Stephens, Scott L.; Moghaddas, Jason J.; Edminster, Carl; Fiedler, Carl E.; Haase, Sally; Harrington, Michael; Keeley, Jon E.; Knapp, Eric E.; McIver, James D.; Metlen, Kerry; Skinner, Carl N.; Youngblood, Andrew. 2009. Fire treatment effects on vegetation structure, fuels, and potential fire severity in western U.S. forests.
- Rabin, Lawrence A.; Oliver, William W.; Powers, Robert F.; Ritchie, Martin; Busse, Matt; Knapp, Eric E. 2009. Historical growth plots in the Pacific Southwest.
- Kane, Jeffrey M.; Varner, J. Morgan; Knapp, Eric E. 2009. Novel fuelbed characteristics associated with mechanical mastication treatments in northern California and south-western Oregon, USA.
- Schwilk, Dylan W.; Keeley, Jon E.; Knapp, Eric E.; Mciver, James; Bailey, John D.; Fettig, Christopher J.; Fiedler, Carl E.; Harrod, Richy J.; Moghaddas, Jason J.; Outcalt, Kenneth W.; Skinner, Carl N.; Stephens, Scott L.; Waldrop, Thomas A.; Yaussy, Daniel A.; Youngblood, Andrew. 2009. The national Fire and Fire Surrogate study: effects of fuel reduction methods on forest vegetation structure and fuels.
- Parks, Noreen; Knapp, Eric [featured scientist]. 2009. Viewing Forests Through a Historical Lens.
- Kevin J. , Rice; Eric E., Knapp. 2008. Effects of competition and life history stage on the expression of local adaptation in two native bunchgrasses.
- Hamman, Sarah T.; Burke, Ingrid C.; Knapp, Eric E. 2008. Soil nutrients and microbial activity after early and late season prescribed burns in a Sierra Nevada mixed conifer forest.
- Youngblood, Andrew; Bigler-Cole, Heidi; Fettig, Christopher J.; Fiedler, Carl; Knapp, Eric E.; Lehmkuhl, John F.; Outcalt, Kenneth W.; Skinner, Carl N.; Stephens, Scott L.; Waldrop, Thomas A. 2007. Making fire and fire surrogate science available: a summary of regional workshops with clients.
- Knapp, Eric E.; Schwilk, Dylan W.; Kane, Jeffrey M.; Keeley, Jon E. 2007. Role of burning season on initial understory vegetation response to prescribed fire in a mixed conifer forest.
- Knapp, Eric E.; Keeley, Jon E. 2006. Heterogeneity in fire severity with early season and late season prescribed burns in a mixed conifer forest.
- Schwilk, Dylan W.; Knapp, Eric E.; Ferrenberg, Scott M.; Keeley, Jon E.; Caprio, Anthony. 2006. Tree mortality from fire and bark beetles following early and late season prescribed fires in a Sierra Nevada mixed conifer forest.
- Kane, Jeffrey M.; Knapp, Eric E.; Varner, J. Morgan. 2006. Variability in Loading of Mechanically Masticated Fuel Beds in Northern California and Southwestern Oregon.
- Knapp, Eric E.; Keeley, Ron E.; Ballenger, Elizabeth A.; Brennan, Teresa J. 2005. Fuel reduction and coarse woody debris dynamics with early season and late season prescribed fires in a Sierra Nevada mixed conifer forest.
- Knapp, Eric E.; Stephens, Scott L.; McIver, James D.; Moghaddas, Jason J.; Keeley, Jon E. 2004. Fire and fire surrogate study in the Sierra Nevada: evaluating restoration treatments at Blodgett Forest and Sequoia National Park.
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