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Using bark char codes to predict post-fire cambium mortality

Hood, Sharon M.; Cluck, Danny R.; Smith, Sheri L.; Ryan, Kevin C. 2008. Using bark char codes to predict post-fire cambium mortality. Fire Ecology. 4(1): 57-73.

Cambium injury is an important factor in post-fire tree survival. Measurements that quantify the degree of bark charring on tree stems after fire are often used as surrogates for direct cambium injury because they are relatively easy to assign and are non-destructive. However, bark char codes based on these measurements have been inadequately tested to determine how well they relate to live or dead cambium. Methods for assessing cambium injury through direct sampling have also been questioned as a potential factor for increasing tree mortality. In this study we used data collected from 11 wildfires and 6 prescribed fires in California, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming to develop a relationship between bark char codes and cambium status for 14 coniferous species. Burned trees were assessed at groundline for bark char severity on each bole quadrant and then sampled at the center of each quadrant to determine cambium status (live or dead).

Keywords: bark char, basal injury, cambium, tree mortality

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Title: RMRS Other Publications: Using bark char codes to predict post-fire cambium mortality
Electronic Publish Date: October 16, 2009
Last Update:
October 16, 2009

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