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FIELD REVIEW OF PLOTS WITHIN THE SPRING MOUNTAINS HUMBOLDT-TOIYABE NATIONAL FORESTS
 

Summary: FIELD REVIEW OF PLOTS WITHIN THE SPRING MOUNTAINS
HUMBOLDT-TOIYABE NATIONAL FORESTS
SEPTEMBER 16-18, 2008
UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA LAS VEGAS
ECOLOGICAL RESTORATION INSTITUTE
AT NORTHERN ARIZONA UNIVERSITY
2
SUMMARY
At the request of Dr. Scott Abella (UNLV), Charles Denton, Dave Brewer, and Dennis Lund of
NAU/ERI reviewed 10 areas to collect data on present and historical densities, species composition,
fire regime, soils, and ecosystem function. As ponderosa pine is and has historically been a main
component of species composition, it was originally assumed that the mountain range had mostly a
frequent fire return interval. However, after examining all the areas it does not appear to be the
case. We found less evidence of frequent fire than expected and could not determine precisely
when wildfire was excluded from the mountain. Surely some suppression activity goes back to the
1860's and more dedicated suppression during the 20th century, but we found little evidence that
one or more events (such as grazing) removed fire from the ecosystem as a whole. Small fires
which mostly stayed within small drainages along with landslides and avalanches seem to play a
role in historical and contemporary ecosystem structure and composition. We believe climatic
fluctuations played a major role in present day structure and composition. Our hypothesis is that the

  

Source: Abella, Scott R. - School of Life Sciences, University of Nevada at Las Vegas

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology