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.

Research Topics Tree Mortality

Restoring our Forests: Managing the Recovery

With record drought and tree mortality impacting California, scientists and land managers are looking at adaptive strategies to manage National Forest System lands.

Forests that are overly dense have become particularly vulnerable to disturbances from insects, diseases, climatic changes and catastrophic wildfire. The greater the density, the chances are that fewer trees will survive the disturbance.

This video explores ways to manage forests and aid in their recovery in the wake of massive tree mortality from drought and bark beetle infestations.

Science Perspectives - Using Experimental Watersheds to Understand the Impacts of Forest Management

In this video, researchers explain how their work on the Kings River Experimental Watersheds, located on the Sierra National Forest, help inform land managers facing challenging environmental issues such as drought, bark beetle infestation and air pollution.

After tree thinning and prescribed fire in the experimental watershed, researchers used aquatic insects  as indicators of stream biological condition. A decrease in these insects can help determine if forest restoration treatments negatively affected stream conditions.

Our research found almost no effects of forest thinning or prescribed fire on invertebrate communities during the low precipitation years that followed the forest restoration treatments. Invertebrate community composition changed more from spring to fall in an average year than in a wet year, but invertebrate densities and population growth rates were greater in wet years.

These research findings help inform resource managers in designing and evaluating future forest restoration projects in Mediterranean mountain climates, such as the Sierra Nevada.

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