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Jenkins - Ecology & silviculture of northern Rockies forests

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Melissa Jenkins, Forest Silviculturist for the Flathead National Forest, provides an overview of the ecological dynamics and typical silviculture of northern Rocky Mountains forest types, at the Adaptive Silviculture for Climate Change (ASCC) Workshop.

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Jenkins - Ecology & silviculture of northern Rockies forests

  1. 1. Bark Beetles • SPRUCE BEETLE • RED TURPENTINE BEETLE • WESTERN PINE BEETLE • ROUNDHEADED PINE BEETLE MOUNTAIN PINE BEETLE • PINE ENGRAVER BEETLES • DOUGLAS-FIR BEETLE • CEDAR BARK BEETLES • FIR ENGRAVER Beetle • WESTERN BALSAM BARK BEETLE Mt Pine Beetle Mortality
  2. 2. Root Disease • Armillaria Root Disease • Annosus Root Disease • Laminated Root Rot • Schweinitzii Root & Butt Rot • Blackstain Root Desease • Tomentosus Root Disease • Pini or Red Ring Rot • Cedar Laminated Butt Rot (Phellinus) • Cedar Brown Pocket Rot • Red Belt Fungus • Quinine Conk • Indian Paint Fungus • Pouch Fungus *Photo: Terrie Jain, RMRS
  3. 3. Lockman, Bush, Barber; R1 Numbered Report 16-07 May 2016
  4. 4. Mistletoes • Lodgepole pine • Douglas-fir • W. Larch Douglas-fir Western Larch
  5. 5. White Pine Blister Rust WPBR Canker Aeciospores When WP was “King”
  6. 6. Understanding individual tree ecology helps us to make decisions on how to alter: • Tree Establishment • Forest Structure • Species Composition Individual Tree Ecology
  7. 7. Shade Tolerance By Species INTOLERANTINTERMEDIATETOLERANT WesternHemlock WesternRedcedar SubalpineFir Engelmannspruce Douglas-fir WesternLarch Lodgep[olePine WhitebarkPine PonderosaPine GrandFir WhitePine Reforestation-Revegetation Climate Change Primer, R1 USFS, 2013
  8. 8. Tree Establishment – Seedbed Needs Organic Seedbed (Needle Litter/Duff) Douglas-fir, western white pine, Engelmann spruce, subalpine fir, western redcedar, western hemlock, grand fir Mineral Soil Douglas-fir, western white pine, Engelmann spruce, subalpine fir, western larch, ponderosa pine, lodgepole pine Burned Douglas-fir, western white pine, subalpine fir, western larch, ponderosa pine, whitebark pine, lodgepole pine
  9. 9. Drought Tolerance By Species TOLERANTINTERMEDIATEINTOLERANT WesternHemlock WesternRedcedar SubalpineFir EngelmannSpruce Douglas-fir WesternLarch Lodgep[olePine PonderosaPine GrandFir WhitePine Reforestation-Revegetation Climate Change Primer, R1 USFS, 2013
  10. 10. Tree Establishment – Drought First Year Survival of Planted Seedlings R1 seedling survival from Reforestation-Revegetation Climate Change Primer, R1 USFS, 2013
  11. 11. Fire Tolerance By Species HIGHLOWVery Low Western Hemlock Western Redcedar Subalpine Fir Engelmann Spruce Douglas-fir Western Larch Lodgepole Pine Whitebark Pine Ponderosa Pine Grand Fir White Pine MODERATE RMRS-GTR-292 table 3.9
  12. 12. Insect and Disease Tolerance by Species RMRS-GTR-292: table 3.1 Early Seral --------------------------------------------------------Late Seral Ponderosa W. Larch Lodgepole White Pine Douglas-fir E. Spruce Grand Fir Subalpine Fir Stem Decay Pini X X X X X X X X Schwinitzii X Root Disease Armallaria X X X Laminated X X X Annosus X X X X X X Defoliat or Spruce budworm X X X Bark Beetles X X X X X X X
  13. 13. Changes from Historic Conditions due to Timber Harvest, Invasive Species and Fire Exclusion Fire Frequency • Reduced frequency  increases fuel loadings and forest densification  decrease spatial and species heterogeneity • Larger, more severe fires Species Composition and Pattern • Decrease of fire adapted shade intolerant species • Increase of less fire adapted shade tolerant species • Decrease in patch size, mosaic more susceptible to large fire growth • Decrease in amount of old growth
  14. 14. Changes from Historic Conditions continued… Insects & Disease- • Loss of 5 needle pines due to white pine blister rust and bark beetles on 10 million acres in R1 • Loss of size class and species diversity increases susceptible hosts • Species shift to shade tolerant species; more susceptible to root disease, defoliators • MPB increasing in whitebark pine at higher elevations
  15. 15. Definition of Silviculture Silviculture is the art and science of controlling the establishment, growth, composition, and quality of forest vegetation for the full range of forest resource objectives.
  16. 16. What Management Action to Take? • Respond to objectives established in forest planning and through the NEPA process • Must follow law, regulation and policy • Limited by ecological capability of the site
  17. 17. Flathead NF Forest Plan Management Objectives • Increase area dominated by shade-intolerant, resilient, long-lived tree species (WP, PP, WL, WBP) • Maintain the existing proportion of old growth forest across the forest • Reduce hazardous fuels within WUI • Mimic or approximate natural succession and disturbance processes • Maintain forests dominated by subalpine fir and Engelmann spruce within lynx habitat and provide winter snowshoe hare habitat.
  18. 18. Develop Target Stands to Meet Objectives Flathead NF Habitat Type Groups Habitat Types FNF Target Stands Warm Dry MOD WARM/DRY Var 1: WUI Var 2: Winter Range Warm Moist (not yet developed) Cool Moist – Moderately Dry Cool & Moist 420, 421, 422, 460, 461, 462, 470, 620, 621, 622, 623, 624, 625, 660, 661, 662, 670, 680, 740, 832 COOL & WET/MOIST Var 1: Lynx habitat Var 2: Non-lynx Cool & Wet 410, 440, 480, 610, 630, 650, 651, 653 Cool & Moderately Dry 450, 640, 663, 690, 691, 692, 710, 720, 731, 920, 930 (not yet developed) 730, 732 Cold (not yet developed)
  19. 19. Stage Vegetation Structure Downed Wood Snags/Acre Except LPP type Successional Size Class Age Trees per Acre Species Comp. BA/ac Average dbh Canopy Closure Tons/ac CWD >9” 15”+ 20”+ Early Seedling/ Sapling 1-40 250-800 ≥ 70% WP/WL/ES N/A <5” <30% 10-60 2-4 1-2Overstory* (Seedling/ Sapling) 80+ 3-10 TPA 15”+ DBH WL/WP Preferred 20-40 15”+ <10% Mid Small Tree 30-70 150-350 ≥ 60% 50-80 5-10” 25-40% 10-60 2-4 1-2Overstory* (Small Tree) 120+ 3-10 TPA 15”+ DBH WP/WL Preferred 20-40 21”+ Medium Tree 70-100 50-250 ≥ 60% WP/WL 60-100 10-15” 25-45% Overstory* (Medium Tree) 150+ 3-10 TPA 15”+ DBH WP/WL Preferred 20-40 21”+ Mid to Late Large Tree 100-170 >10” DBH 50- 100 ≥50% WP/WL 60-120 15+ 25-45% 30-60 2-4 1-2 Late Large Tree 170-300 >10” dbh 30- 150 At least 8 TPA ≥ 21” DBH ≥ 40% WP/WL 60-200 15”+ 30%+ >15 2-4 1-2
  20. 20. Final Thoughts For your cool/moist and moderately dry conifer forest management discussions, remember to consider: • Limitations of the site- habitat type, biophysical setting • Regeneration and growth needs of individual species • Susceptibility to Disturbances- Early Seral vs Late Seral • Disturbance regimes that created historically resilient forests • Incorporating heterogeneity into the stand and landscape
  21. 21. The End

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