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Rocky Mountain Research Station
240 West Prospect Road
Fort Collins, CO 80526-2098

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RMRS-RP-105: Trends in snag populations in Northern Arizona mixed-conifer and ponderosa pine forests, 1997-2012

Citation: Ganey, J. L.; Vojta, S. C. 2014. Trends in snag populations in Northern Arizona mixed-conifer and ponderosa pine forests, 1997-2012. Res. Pap. RMRS-RP-105. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 12 p.

Abstract: We monitored snag populations in drought-stressed mixed-conifer and ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forests, northern Arizona, at 5-yr intervals from 1997-2012. Snag density increased from 1997-2007 in both forest types, with accelerated change due to drought-related tree mortality during the period 2002-2007. Snag density declined non-significantly from 2007-2012, but median snag density in 2012 remained significantly greater than median density in 1997. Differences in composition of snag populations also persisted through 2012. Our results suggest that the drought-mediated spike in tree mortality observed from 2002-2007 did not persist from 2007-2012 and snag populations may be converging toward previous levels in terms of both snag density and composition of snag populations.

Keywords: climate change, drought, snag creation, snag dynamics, spatial variability

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USDA Forest Service - Rocky Mountain Research Station Publications
Publish Date: January 14, 2014
Last Modified: January 14, 2014

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