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Title: Effects of post-fire logging on forest surface air temperatures in the Siskiyou Mountains, Oregon, USA

Author: Fontaine, Joseph B.; Donato, Daniel C.; Campbell, John L.; Martin, Jonathan G.; Law, Beverley E.;

Date: 2010

Source: Forestry 83(5):477-482

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Following stand-replacing wildfire, post-fire (salvage) logging of fire-killed trees is a widely implemented management practice in many forest types. A common hypothesis is that removal of fire-killed trees increases surface temperatures due to loss of shade and increased solar radiation, thereby influencing vegetation establishment and possibly stand development. Six years after a wildfire in a Mediterranean-climate mixed-conifer forest in southwest Oregon, USA, we measured the effects of post-fire logging (>90% dead tree (snag) removal) on growing season surface air temperatures. Compared with unlogged severely burned forest, post-fire logging did not lead to increased maximum daily surface air temperature. However, dead tree removal was associated with lower nightly minimum temperatures (~1°C) and earlier daytime heating, leading to a 1–2°C difference during the warming portion of the day. Effects varied predictably by aspect. The patterns reported here represent a similar but muted pattern as previously reported for microclimatic changes following clear-cutting of green trees. Effects of microsites such as tree bases on fine-scale temperature regimes require further investigation.

Keywords: stand-replacing wildfire, post-fire soil temperature, post-fire salvage logging, diurnal temperature regimes, Mediterranean climate regimes, reforestation

Publication Notes:

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Fontaine, Joseph B.; Donato, Daniel C.; Campbell, John L.; Martin, Jonathan G.; Law, Beverley E. 2010. Effects of post-fire logging on forest surface air temperatures in the Siskiyou Mountains, Oregon, USA. Forestry 83(5):477-482.

 


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