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Silvicultural tools applicable in forests burned by a mixed severity fire regime

Graham, Russell T.; Jain, Theresa B. 2005. Silvicultural tools applicable in forests burned by a mixed severity fire regime. In: Taylor, Lagene; Zelnik Jessica; Cadwallader, Sara; Hughes, Brian, eds. Mixed severity fire regimes: ecology and management: Symposium proceedings; 2004 November 17-19; Spokane, WA. Pullman, WA: Washington State University, Coop Extension Service. p. 45-58.

The silvicultural tools applicable for use in forests burned by mixed severity fire regimes are as highly variable as the structures and compositions the fires have historically created. Singly or in combination chunking, chipping, slashing, and piling can alter the character of surface fuels (e.g., small trees, shrubs, branches, and stems). These treatments can be combined with fire to reduce continuity and the amount of ground fuels (e.g., needles, litter, and rotten wood). Ground fuels, especially uncharacteristically deep layers at the base of trees, can be reduced by mechanically mixing or burning when conditions favor the retention of nutrients and/or fine roots that can occur in these layers. The continuity and amount of ladder fuels (e.g., shrubs and small trees) can be modified using fire or mechanical means either singly or in combination. To reduce the bulk density and continuity of canopy fuels, mechanical methods can most readily be used but prescribed fire is an option in some settings. Surface fuels and crown base height appear to have a large impact on the initiation and continuance of crown fires. Prescribed fire and/or mechanical methods can be used to simultaneously treat these forest attributes. Even though there are a large number of silvicultural tools that can be used in the forests historically burned by mixed fire regimes, their application is predicated on the management objectives of the forest owner and the short- and long-term desired forest conditions that fulfill these objectives.

Keywords: silvicultural tools, mixed severity fire regimes

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Title: RMRS Other Publications: Silvicultural tools applicable in forests burned by a mixed severity fire regime
Electronic Publish Date: May 29, 2013
Last Update:
May 29, 2013

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