Full Citation: Fulé, Peter Z.; Covington, W. Wallace; Stoddard, Michael T.; Bertolette, Don. 2006. "Minimal-impact" restoration treatments have limited effects on forest structure and fuels at Grand Canyon, USA. Restoration Ecology 14(3):357-368.
External Identifier(s): 10.1111/j.1526-100X.2006.00144.x Digital Object Identifier
Location: Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, U.S.
Ecosystem types: Ponderosa pine forest; Mixed-conifer forest
Southwest FireCLIME Keywords: None
FRAMES Keywords: Abies concolor, Arizona, coniferous forests, cover, ecosystem dynamics, fire frequency, fire hazard reduction, fire management, fire regimes, forest management, fuel loading, Juniperus osteosperma, litter, national parks, overstory, Picea pungens, Pinus edulis, Pinus ponderosa, population density, Populus tremuloides, Pseudotsuga menziesii, Quercus gambelii, size classes, surface fires, surface fuels, thinning, trees, wildfires, woody plants, ecological restoration, fuel reduction, ponderosa pine, Grand Canyon National Park, mixed conifer forest

'Minimal-impact' restoration treatments have limited effects on forest structure and fuels at Grand Canyon, USA

Peter Z. Fulé, W. Wallace Covington, Michael T. Stoddard, Don Bertolette


Summary - what did the authors do and why?

The authors tested a series of minimal-impact treatments including: (1) thinning of small trees (diameter ? 12.7 cm) and prescribed fire; (2) thinning of small trees located close to large old trees and prescribed fire; (3) prescribed fire only; and (4) control, to determine their effectiveness at reducing hazardous fuels and restoring historic forest conditions.


Publication findings:

The authors found minimal changes to forest structure under the thinning treatments. These treatments reduced duff and litter in the understory, but did not affect the canopy significantly. The prescribed fire treatments constituted the greatest treatment impact on future crown fire behavior potential by raising the canopy base height. The thin and burn treatment and prescribed fire only treatment had nearly indistinguishable effects on forest structure, suggesting that resources may be better spent on increasing prescribed fire than on minimal thinning activities.

Fire and Ecosystem Effects Linkages

The prescribed fire treatments constituted the greatest treatment impact on future crown fire behavior potential by raising the canopy base height. The thin and burn treatment and prescribed fire only treatment had nearly indistinguishable effects on forest structure, suggesting that resources may be better spent on increasing prescribed fire than on minimal thinning activities.

The prescribed fire treatments constituted the greatest treatment impact on future crown fire behavior potential by raising the canopy base height. The thin and burn treatment and prescribed fire only treatment had nearly indistinguishable effects on forest structure, suggesting that resources may be better spent on increasing prescribed fire than on minimal thinning activities.

The authors found minimal changes to forest structure under the thinning treatments. These treatments reduced duff and litter in the understory, but did not affect the canopy significantly. The prescribed fire treatments constituted the greatest treatment impact on future crown fire behavior potential by raising the canopy base height. The thin and burn treatment and prescribed fire only treatment had nearly indistinguishable effects on forest structure, suggesting that resources may be better spent on increasing prescribed fire than on minimal thinning activities.