Title

Charcoal Production In Mixed-Conifer Forest After a High-Severity Initial Fire and Repeat Burn

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

Charcoal is a fundamental component for the available carbon in a forest system and is most commonly produced through fire events. Factors controlling the net amount of black carbon in the form of charcoal have yet to be well understood in mixed-conifer forest ecosystems. Fire events produce charcoal through incomplete combustion of vegetative material. To understand the influence of fire on a landscape's potential charcoal production, samples were taken at ten sites where an initial fire burned at high severity in 2003 with ten corresponding sites of the same initial fire that experienced a repeat burn in 2011 and 2013. Samples were cross-sections of coarse woody debris present on the ground where charcoal depth was measured along transects. The volume of charcoal on coarse woody debris was calculated using the diameter of the coarse woody debris compared to the charcoal depth at each site. The total volume of charcoal produced was greater in sites that experienced a repeat burn with the mean of the repeat burn sites accumulated charcoal equaling 11.8 m3/ha compared to the once-burned mean of 6.4 m3/ha. From a Wilcoxon Rank Sum Test for the charcoal comparison between site types the p-value equaled 0.09. Charcoal volume varied in sites that experienced only the initial high severity fire. The charcoal production appeared different between the two types of sites, indicating that repeat burns of various severity types may produce differences in charcoal availability. Management practices allowing repeat burns may increase available black carbon that may be sequestered into soils to contribute to soil productivity and fertility as well as positively contribute to nutrient cycling in forests.

Category

Physical Sciences

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Apr 17th, 1:40 PM Apr 17th, 2:00 PM

Charcoal Production In Mixed-Conifer Forest After a High-Severity Initial Fire and Repeat Burn

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Charcoal is a fundamental component for the available carbon in a forest system and is most commonly produced through fire events. Factors controlling the net amount of black carbon in the form of charcoal have yet to be well understood in mixed-conifer forest ecosystems. Fire events produce charcoal through incomplete combustion of vegetative material. To understand the influence of fire on a landscape's potential charcoal production, samples were taken at ten sites where an initial fire burned at high severity in 2003 with ten corresponding sites of the same initial fire that experienced a repeat burn in 2011 and 2013. Samples were cross-sections of coarse woody debris present on the ground where charcoal depth was measured along transects. The volume of charcoal on coarse woody debris was calculated using the diameter of the coarse woody debris compared to the charcoal depth at each site. The total volume of charcoal produced was greater in sites that experienced a repeat burn with the mean of the repeat burn sites accumulated charcoal equaling 11.8 m3/ha compared to the once-burned mean of 6.4 m3/ha. From a Wilcoxon Rank Sum Test for the charcoal comparison between site types the p-value equaled 0.09. Charcoal volume varied in sites that experienced only the initial high severity fire. The charcoal production appeared different between the two types of sites, indicating that repeat burns of various severity types may produce differences in charcoal availability. Management practices allowing repeat burns may increase available black carbon that may be sequestered into soils to contribute to soil productivity and fertility as well as positively contribute to nutrient cycling in forests.