Ponderosa pine mortality following fire in northern Arizona

Charles W. McHugh, Thomas E Kolb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

127 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Sampling of 1367 trees was conducted in the Side wildfire (4 May 1996), Bridger-Knoll wildfire (20 June 1996) and Dauber prescribed fire (9 September 1995) in northern Arizona ponderosa pine forests (Pinus ponderosa). Tree mortality was assessed for 3 years after each fire. Three-year post-fire mortality was 32.4% in the Side wildfire, 18.0% in the Dauber prescribed fire, and 13.9% in the Bridger-Knoll wildfire. In the Dauber and Side fires, 95% and 94% of 3-year post-fire mortality occurred by year 2, versus 76% in the Bridger-Knoll wildfire. Compared with trees that lived for 3 years after fire, dead trees in all fires had more crown scorch, crown consumption, bole scorch, ground char, and bark beetle attacks. Logistic regression models were used to provide insight on factors associated with tree mortality after fire. A model using total crown damage by fire (scorch + consumption) and bole char severity as independent variables was the best two-variable model for predicting individual tree mortality for all fires. The amount of total crown damage associated with the onset of tree mortality decreased as bole char severity increased. Models using diameter at breast height (dbh) and crown volume damage suggested that tree mortality decreased as dbh increased in the Dauber prescribed fire where trees were smallest, and tree mortality increased as dbh increased in the Side and Bridger-Knoll wildfires where trees were largest. Moreover, a U-shaped dbh-mortality distribution for all fires suggested higher mortality for the smallest and largest trees compared with intermediate-size trees. We concluded that tree mortality is strongly influenced by interaction between crown damage and bole char severity, and differences in resistance to fire among different-sized trees can vary among sites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-22
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Wildland Fire
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2003

Fingerprint

Pinus ponderosa
tree mortality
mortality
wildfires
tree crown
wildfire
scorch
tree and stand measurements
tree trunk
prescribed burning
damage
bark beetles
dead wood
coniferous forests
bark
logistics
beetle

Keywords

  • Fire
  • Logistic regression
  • Mortality prediction model
  • Pinus ponderosa
  • Ponderosa pine
  • Tree mortality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Plant Science

Cite this

Ponderosa pine mortality following fire in northern Arizona. / McHugh, Charles W.; Kolb, Thomas E.

In: International Journal of Wildland Fire, Vol. 12, No. 1, 2003, p. 7-22.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "Sampling of 1367 trees was conducted in the Side wildfire (4 May 1996), Bridger-Knoll wildfire (20 June 1996) and Dauber prescribed fire (9 September 1995) in northern Arizona ponderosa pine forests (Pinus ponderosa). Tree mortality was assessed for 3 years after each fire. Three-year post-fire mortality was 32.4{\%} in the Side wildfire, 18.0{\%} in the Dauber prescribed fire, and 13.9{\%} in the Bridger-Knoll wildfire. In the Dauber and Side fires, 95{\%} and 94{\%} of 3-year post-fire mortality occurred by year 2, versus 76{\%} in the Bridger-Knoll wildfire. Compared with trees that lived for 3 years after fire, dead trees in all fires had more crown scorch, crown consumption, bole scorch, ground char, and bark beetle attacks. Logistic regression models were used to provide insight on factors associated with tree mortality after fire. A model using total crown damage by fire (scorch + consumption) and bole char severity as independent variables was the best two-variable model for predicting individual tree mortality for all fires. The amount of total crown damage associated with the onset of tree mortality decreased as bole char severity increased. Models using diameter at breast height (dbh) and crown volume damage suggested that tree mortality decreased as dbh increased in the Dauber prescribed fire where trees were smallest, and tree mortality increased as dbh increased in the Side and Bridger-Knoll wildfires where trees were largest. Moreover, a U-shaped dbh-mortality distribution for all fires suggested higher mortality for the smallest and largest trees compared with intermediate-size trees. We concluded that tree mortality is strongly influenced by interaction between crown damage and bole char severity, and differences in resistance to fire among different-sized trees can vary among sites.",
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AB - Sampling of 1367 trees was conducted in the Side wildfire (4 May 1996), Bridger-Knoll wildfire (20 June 1996) and Dauber prescribed fire (9 September 1995) in northern Arizona ponderosa pine forests (Pinus ponderosa). Tree mortality was assessed for 3 years after each fire. Three-year post-fire mortality was 32.4% in the Side wildfire, 18.0% in the Dauber prescribed fire, and 13.9% in the Bridger-Knoll wildfire. In the Dauber and Side fires, 95% and 94% of 3-year post-fire mortality occurred by year 2, versus 76% in the Bridger-Knoll wildfire. Compared with trees that lived for 3 years after fire, dead trees in all fires had more crown scorch, crown consumption, bole scorch, ground char, and bark beetle attacks. Logistic regression models were used to provide insight on factors associated with tree mortality after fire. A model using total crown damage by fire (scorch + consumption) and bole char severity as independent variables was the best two-variable model for predicting individual tree mortality for all fires. The amount of total crown damage associated with the onset of tree mortality decreased as bole char severity increased. Models using diameter at breast height (dbh) and crown volume damage suggested that tree mortality decreased as dbh increased in the Dauber prescribed fire where trees were smallest, and tree mortality increased as dbh increased in the Side and Bridger-Knoll wildfires where trees were largest. Moreover, a U-shaped dbh-mortality distribution for all fires suggested higher mortality for the smallest and largest trees compared with intermediate-size trees. We concluded that tree mortality is strongly influenced by interaction between crown damage and bole char severity, and differences in resistance to fire among different-sized trees can vary among sites.

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