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Effects of post-fire logging on forest surface air temperatures in the Siskiyou Mountains, Oregon, USA

Fontaine, J.B.ORCID: 0000-0002-6515-7864, Donato, D.C., Campbell, J.L., Martin, J.G. and Law, B.E. (2010) Effects of post-fire logging on forest surface air temperatures in the Siskiyou Mountains, Oregon, USA. Forestry, 83 (5). pp. 477-482.

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Following stand-replacing wildfire, post-fire (salvage) logging of fire-killed trees is a widely implemented management practice in many forest types. A common hypothesis is that removal of fire-killed trees increases surface temperatures due to loss of shade and increased solar radiation, thereby influencing vegetation establishment and possibly stand development. Six years after a wildfire in a Mediterranean-climate mixed-conifer forest in southwest Oregon, USA, we measured the effects of post-fire logging (> 90 per cent dead tree (snag) removal) on growing season surface air temperatures. Compared with unlogged severely burned forest, post-fire logging did not lead to increased maximum daily surface air temperature. However, dead tree removal was associated with lower nightly minimum temperatures (similar to 1 degrees C) and earlier daytime heating, leading to a 1-2 degrees C difference during the warming portion of the day. Effects varied predictably by aspect. The patterns reported here represent a similar but muted pattern as previously reported for microclimatic changes following clear-cutting of green trees. Effects of microsites such as tree bases on fine-scale temperature regimes require further investigation.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Environmental Science
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Copyright: Institute of Chartered Foresters, 2010
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