Response of ponderosa pine forests in central Oregon to prescribed underburning Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/qf85nd31w

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  • Tree growth and soil nutrient responses to prescribed underburning were determined for a period of up to 12 years at four sites in northcentral and central Oregon ponderosa pine stands (Pinus ponderosa Dougl. ex Laws). Differences reported are significant at a = 0.10. During the first 4-growing-season-measurement period after underburning, ponderosa pine periodic annual increments (PAIs) were reduced for basal area (BA) by 12 to 33 percent at all four sites; for volume, by 8 to 34 percent at two sites; for height, by 12 and 19 percent for the two different intensities of burn treatment at one site; and for quadratic mean diameter, by 11 to 29 percent at three sites. Percent increases in BA in ponderosa pine were reduced by 16 to 31 percent and percent increases in volume by from 3 to 32 percent, both at all four sites. Reductions in PAIs persisted for 12 years-three 4-growing-season measurement periods-at the one site where tree growth was measured for that period of time. The responses of mineral soil and forest floor horizons to prescribed underburning and time were determined at the same four sites. Changes due to treatment immediately after underburning and long-term; due to time; due to treatment x time interaction; and from year to year, irrespective of treatment, were determined. Immediately after underburning, mineral soil bulk density and concentrations of TN, soil organic matter (SOM), and bicarbonate extractable P decreased at one site. Forest floor OM, TN, total P, and total K masses decreased immediately after underburning. The summed (1) masses of forest floor and mineral soil nutrients, ZOM, ETN, I total P, £C//N, EC/Y.TP, and ZN/5:TP, decreased immediately after underburning in the high fuel consumption treatment units at Lava Butte. Soil pH increased after underburning and remained elevated by about 0.2 pH units for up to 12 years-the duration of the study. Soils with low initial concentrations of TN, SOM, or CEC appeared more likely to show changes in these nutrients or properties due to prescribed underburning.
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