April 21, 2016, 1:00-2:00 PM
Speakers - Phil van Mantgem, Research Ecologist, USGS Redwood Field Station and Donald Falk, University of Arizona, School of Natural Resources and Environment.
Description - The persistent severe drought in the southwestern U.S., accompanied by record temperatures, provides a natural experiment to test the efficacy of key forest management tools – mechanical thinning and prescribed fire – to increase resistance to severe drought. Reductions in tree density following thinning and prescribed fire are widely presumed to increase resistance to drought. Yet this proposition remains largely untested, especially with respect to the combined emerging effects of “warmer drought”.
As a consequence, land managers do not have the basic information they need to make critical decisions in both short- and long-term time frames. In the face of ongoing climatic changes, is a dollar best spent on managing for increased forest resistance, or should managers and scientists be exploring other climate change adaptation strategies?
The speakers will present information on current and planned research on fire and drought interactions in coniferous forests in California and the Southwest. A primary goal of the webinar is to get managers’ input on planned projects and help identify key knowledge gaps. The speakers are especially interested in manager observations from the field regarding patterns of tree survivorship, mortality, and regeneration in treated and untreated areas. We will discuss project design, data collection strategies (including potential study sites) and translation of results into actionable decisions for forest managers. Webinar results will be communicated back to participants via email and web conferences, ultimately resulting in improved research protocols and new study proposals.
Click here for a recording of the webinar.
Click here for a PDF of the slideshow.