Date of Award

12-2012

Degree Name

MS in Forestry Sciences

Department

Natural Resources Management

Advisor

Christopher A. Dicus

Abstract

We investigated how fire severity impacts the survival and response (sprouting/seeding) of multiple species in the Santa Cruz Mountains of coastal California, including coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens), Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), tanoak (Lithocarpus densiflorus), and Pacific madrone(Arbutus menziesii). During August 2009 the Lockheed Fire burned nearly 3,160ha of mixed-conifer stands with variable severity. Data from 37 Continuous Forest Inventory (CFI) plots were collected immediately before and for 2 successive years following the 2009 Lockheed Fire.

This research entails three objectives. First, we quantified post-fire mortality of trees that vary in species, size, and fire severity. Second, data was quantified for post-fire response (sprouting, seeding) of those three tree species in areas of varying fire severity. Third, we developed logistic regression models that predict post-fire mortality and response for each of the three species. Understanding the relationship between burn severity, mortality and regeneration can allow for better post-fire predictive services. This research can support forest managers in post-fire management decisions to facilitate long-term sustainability and protection of environmental infrastructure within coast redwood/Douglas-fir forests.

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