Date of Award

3-2014

Degree Name

MS in Forestry Sciences

Department

Natural Resources Management

Advisor

Brian Dietterick

Abstract

Five hundred eighty red alder along a 2.16 km portion of the Little Creek riparian zone were assessed for mortality following the 2009 Lockheed Fire near Davenport, California. The study area was divided into burn severity zones and every red alder within the riparian zone was observed and assessed for mortality. Height, diameter at breast height (DBH), and age were collected on selected trees. An estimation of red alder large woody debris (LWD) input to Little Creek since a 2010 LWD survey (Smith, 2010) was calculated using average red alder tree dimensions applied to Smalian’s formula (MLNRO, 2011). The mean proportion of dead red alder in the non-burn zone and burn-zone was .11 and .45 respectively. Volume of red alder LWD in Little Creek is estimated to have increased approximately 245% since the fire. Given other factors may have played a role in red alder mortality in Little Creek, the analysis reported here supports fire also contributed to accelerated mortality of red alder established following the catastrophic debris torrent in 1955 in Little Creek. This study provides useful information regarding fire and red alder and establishes baseline conditions of the Little Creek riparian zone following the 2009 Lockheed Fire.

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