Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Fire injury severity in an Eastern Sierra Nevada mixed conifer stand: variability and influencing factors.

Abstract

Variability of postfire injury and stand and individual tree factors that affected survival responses of eastern Sierra Nevada conifers to wildfire were examined. Prefire measurements served as a basis of comparison for postfire conditions in a mixed conifer stand located in the eastern portion of the Lake Tahoe Basin and provided insight into predisposing influences on survival. Species composition consisted primarily of Jeffrey pine (Pinus jeffreyi Grev. & Balf.) and California white fir (Abies concolor var. lowiana [Gord.] Lemm.) along with a minor component of sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana Dougl.). Postfire survival was higher in Jeffrey pine than white fir but was highest overall in sugar pine. Catastrophic crown loss occurred less frequently in Jeffrey pine than in the fir but was least common in sugar pine. Survival generally increased with tree size, but this relationship did not extend to the largest trees in the stand. Among an array of regression models used to evaluate selected variables for their predictive capacity regarding postfire survival, prefire stand density was found to negatively influence that of Jeffrey and sugar pine, and survival of Jeffrey pine and white fir was negatively correlated with bole char. These results provide natural resource managers guidance in the selection of viable trees for retention during the salvage harvesting operations that often follow wildfire events.