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Mulch Matters: Mulching fuels treatments promoted understory plant communities in Colorado forests

Posted date: June 26, 2018
Publication Year: 
Authors: Fornwalt, Paula J.; Battaglia, Mike A.; Rhoades, Charles C.; Ryan, Michael G.; Rocca, Monique E. - Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability Colorado State University
Document type: Other Documents


Mulching fuels treatments have been increasingly implemented by forest managers in the western United States to reduce crown fire hazard. These treatments use heavy machinery to masticate or chip unwanted shrubs and small-diameter trees and broadcast the mulched material on the ground. Because mulching treatments are relatively novel and have no natural analog, their impacts above and beyond crown fire hazard reduction are poorly understood. Rocky Mountain Research Station Research Ecologist Paula Fornwalt and her team initiated a long-term study in 2007 to better understand how mulching fuels treatments impacted understory plant communities in three Colorado forest types: pinyon pine – juniper (PJ), ponderosa pine and ponderosa pine – Douglas-fir (PP), and lodgepole pine and mixed conifer (LPMC). 

PDF icon SYCU-5-MulchMatters_June2018.pdf1.96 MB

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Fornwalt, Paula J. ; Rocca, Monique E. ; Battaglia, Mike A. ; Rhoades, Charles C. ; Ryan, Michael G. , 2017
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