Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service
  
Treesearch

Research & Development Treesearch

 
Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Northern
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help
 

Science.gov - We Participate


USA.gov  Government Made Easy


Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.
20090-6090

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (465 KB bytes)

Title: Fuels reduction in a western coniferous forest: effects on quantity and quality of forage for elk

Author: Long, Ryan A.; Rachlow, Janet L.; Kie, John G.; Vavra, Martin;

Date: 2008

Source: Rangeland Ecolgy and Management. 61(3): 302-313

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Use of mechanical thinning and prescribed fire to reduce fuels in dry forest ecosystems has become increasingly common in western North America. Nevertheless, few studies have quantified effects of fuels reduction treatments on wildlife. We evaluated effects of fuels reduction on quantity and quality of forage available to elk (Cervus elaphus) in northeastern Oregon. From 2001 to 2003, 26 stands of true fir (Abies spp.) and Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesi [Mirbel] Franco) were thinned and burned, whereas 27 similar stands were left untreated to serve as experimental controls. We estimated percentage of cover, percentage of in vitro dry-matter digestibility (digestibility), and percentage of nitrogen (%N) of 16 important forage species and genera in treatment and control stands during spring (May-June) and summer (July-August) of 2005 and 2006. Quantity and quality of forage were lower in summer than spring in both stand types. In contrast, total cover of forage was higher in treatment than in control stands during spring, whereas the opposite was true during summer. For graminoids, %N was higher in control than in treatment stands whereas digestibility did not differ between stand types. For forbs, neither index of forage quality differed between stand types. When treatment stands were separated by years since burning, %N and digestibility of forbs and %N of graminoids increased from 2 to 5 yr following treatment, and by the 5th year after burning had exceeded maximum values observed in control stands in both seasons. As a result of the interacting effects of fuels reduction and season on forage characteristics, treated stands provided better foraging opportunities for elk during spring, whereas control stands provided better foraging opportunities during summer. Consequently, maintaining a mosaic of burned and unburned (late-successional) habitat may be of greater benefit to elk than burning a large proportion of a landscape.

Keywords: Cervus elaphus, in vitro dry-matter digestibility, nitrogen, nutrition, Oregon, percentage of cover, prescribed fire

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

XML: View XML

Citation:


Long, Ryan A.; Rachlow, Janet L.; Kie, John G.; Vavra, Martin 2008. Fuels reduction in a western coniferous forest: effects on quantity and quality of forage for elk. Rangeland Ecolgy and Management. 61(3): 302-313

 


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.