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TV045
Post-fire succession study, Torrey Charlton RNA, 1997 to present

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR:
Mark E. Harmon

ORIGINATOR:
Steven A. Acker

OTHER RESEARCHER:
Jane N. Kertis, Robert J. Pabst

DATA SET CONTACT PERSON:
Kari B. O'Connell

ABSTRACTOR:
S. D. Miller

METADATA CREATION DATE:
31 May 2005

MOST RECENT METADATA REVIEW DATE:
22 Jan 2014

KEYWORDS:
Community dynamics, Fire, Fire severity, Growth and yield, Mortality, Post-fire succession, Regeneration, Seedlings, Succession, Tree growth, Tree measurements, Tree mortality, Vegetation dynamics, Organic matter, Primary production

PURPOSE:
The fire that consumed a good deal of the Torrey-Charlton RNA in August of 1996 provided a unique opportunity to observe natural, post-fire vegetation dynamics in high elevation forest. We were able to take advantage of permanent plots in the RNA, established in 1976. The plots encompass a range of fire severity from unburned to complete tree mortality with crowns consumed. Our objectives in this work were: 1) to quantify the severity of the fire at the scale of 0.1 ha plots and individual trees; 2) to describe characteristics of the post-fire seedbed; 3) to track the fate of snags created by the wildfire; 4) to document regeneration of trees and understory vegetation after the fire; 5) to continue the measurements of tree growth and mortality that pre-date the fire.

METHODS:

Experimental Design - TV045 :

Description: We established 12 permanent vegetation monitoring plots (using existing TV010 permanent plots where possible), including three plots in each of four fire severity categories including: 1) unburned (>90% of trees surviving the wildfire, 2) partial mortality (greater than 10% and <=90% of trees surviving, 3) >90% tree mortality, crowns scorched and, 4) >90% mortality, crowns consumed. These data are intended to provide us with a record of natural post-fire vegetation dynamics in high elevation mountain hemlock forest.

Field Methods - TV045:

Description: In each of the 12 permanent vegetation monitoring plots we: 1) recorded fire severity; 2) tagged and measured live trees where necessary according to TV010 protocols; 3) tagged and measured snags and categorized them into fire severity and decay classes; 4) measured cover of understory vascular plants using line-intercept methods; 5) recorded seedbed characteristics and seedling and sapling heights in 2 m2 plots; 6) photographed each plot from standardized locations. We plan to repeat measurements in 1998, and avery 5 years thereafter. However, measurements may be taken more frequently if rapid changes are found in reconnaissance visits, and if resources are available.

SITE DESCRIPTION:
High elevation mountain hemlock forest. Moderately sloping terrain.

GENERAL TAXONOMIC COVERAGE:
High elevation mountain hemlock forest.

TAXONOMIC SYSTEM:
Garrison et al., 1976
Garrison, G.A., J.M. Skovlin, C.E. Poulton and A.H.Winward. 1976. Northwest Plant Names and Symbols for Ecosystem Inventory and Analysis (4th ed.). Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-46. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 267 p.. (http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/publications/pnw_gtr046/)

GEOGRAPHIC EXTENT:
Torrey-Charlton Research Natural Area. Oregon, Lane Co., Near Waldo Lake/Charlton Butte. T21S R6E SEC10 NE1/4 Lat:43.764 Lon:121.982 USGS Quadrangle Map Reference Code N4345-W12152.5/7.5

MEASUREMENT FREQUENCY:
yearly

PROGRESS DESCRIPTION:
Study continues and further data collection is planned

UPDATE FREQUENCY DESCRIPTION:
Data is updated as needed

CURRENTNESS REFERENCE:
"Ground condition" is the range of dates during which the site was visited and data collected.