Future climate affects management strategies for maintaining forest restoration treatments

Corinne Diggins, Peter Z Fule, Jason P. Kaye, Wallace W Covington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Forests adapted to frequent-fire regimes are being treated to reduce fuel hazards and restore ecosystem processes. The maintenance of treatment effects under future climates is a critical issue. We modelled forest change under different climate scenarios for 100 years on ponderosa pine landscapes in the south-western USA, comparing management regimes that included prescribed burning, tree cutting, and no-management. We applied the Forest Vegetation Simulator (1) in its standard form, and (2) with modifications of reduced tree growth and increased mortality to simulate the effects of two levels of climate change. Without climate change effects, several management regimes, including the use of frequent burning similar to the historical fire frequency (∼5 year), maintained future forest structure within a target range of variability. In contrast, simulations that accounted for climate change effects indicated that burning intervals should be lengthened (∼20 year) and future tree thinning should be avoided to minimise forest decline. Although it has been widely predicted that future climate conditions will support more burning (warmer, drier fuels, longer fire season), our modelling suggests that the production of fuels will decline, so there will eventually be a trade-off between increased fire, driven by climate, v. reduced fuel, also driven by climate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)903-913
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Wildland Fire
Volume19
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010

Fingerprint

forest restoration
climate
climate change
fire season
forest decline
fuel production
prescribed burning
fire regime
Pinus ponderosa
climate conditions
thinning (plants)
tree growth
trade-off
thinning
simulator
restoration
hazard
mortality
vegetation
effect

Keywords

  • carbon
  • climate change
  • ecological restoration
  • Forest Vegetation Simulator
  • ponderosa pine.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Ecology

Cite this

Future climate affects management strategies for maintaining forest restoration treatments. / Diggins, Corinne; Fule, Peter Z; Kaye, Jason P.; Covington, Wallace W.

In: International Journal of Wildland Fire, Vol. 19, No. 7, 2010, p. 903-913.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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