USDA Forest Service

Pacific Southwest Research Station

Pacific Southwest
Research Station

800 Buchanan Street
Albany, CA 94710-0011
(510) 883-8830
United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.

Ecosystem response to aspen restoration

Principal Investigators:
John-Pascal Berrill, Humboldt State University
Christa Dagley, Humboldt State University

Proposal [pdf]

Final Report [pdf]

Project Summary

This project involved studying how the different parts of aspen forests respond to restoration treatments being implemented by land management agencies around the Lake Tahoe Basin.

We studied response of the aspen ecosystem to removal of encroaching conifers and burning of cut conifer wood in piles. In particular, we studied response of aspen trees, the regeneration of new aspen and invading conifers, and changes in the herbaceous vegetation layer which is a "hotspot" of biodiversity in healthy aspen forests but gets shaded out by conifers and may be at risk of replacement by invasive plants.

Cut conifers piled for burning were burned at four research sites around the Lake Tahoe Basin. At each site, piles were burned inside 2.5‐acre long‐term monitoring plots (after studying conditions before burning). Each summer after pile burning we re‐assessed the vegetation and trees at Blackwood Creek (USFS) and Ward creek (USFS) on west shore, and at North Canyon (NDOW) and Secret Harbor Creek (USFS) on the eastern shore of Lake Tahoe.