Kerry's forest ideas out of step with sound ecosystem management

O18-C-O16 hcf32 at yahoo.no
Mon Aug 9 11:34:28 EST 2004


wxdano9 at hotmail.com (Dano) wrote in message news:<e351cb91.0408082102.750481da at posting.google.com>...
> hcf32 at yahoo.no (O18-C-O16) wrote in message news:<5d02cf45.0408071325.1329df5 at posting.google.com>...
> 
> [snip]
> 
> > Maybe the onset of a 'mineral only' flush most often would be slower
> > but the amount of accumulated below ground carbon, larger. Could be
> > significant since soil carbon is supposed to enhance soil water
> > storage, the real limiting factor in fire prone forests.
> 
> I'm not really sure what is going on now in this thread, but yes C is
> very significant in soil. C does indeed enhance soil water storage,
> via many processes that enhance soil WHC. C is essential for many
> macro and microorganisms in soil as well.
> 
> The point here, however, is that normally (absent fire, for purposes
> of this thread) N is largely unavailable without mychorrizal symbiosis
> - the N is very tightly bound and plants must expend great amounts of
> energy to utilize it. As N is essential for tissue formation in
> plants, when fire occurs, there is generally a resultant flush of
> growth due to the released N.
> 
> Lastly, fire-prone forests have plants that are adapted to fire
> regimes. Closed-cone trees, for example. Redwood forests stop in
> southern OR in part because of the fire return interval.
> 
> So, when you say 'limiting', one must ask 'limiting for what'? These
> fire-prone forests are not 'limited' at all. They have maximized their
> life cycles to the site. They adapt or don't live on that site. Look
> at the west slope of the Sierra. The lower-elevation forests (below
> red fir) were doing just fine in their fire regimes until recently;
> now, white fir is expanding its range because fire has been excluded.
> The species that were there before the white fir had no limits to
> their growth when fire came thru every 5-45 years - in fact, they had
> maximized their life cycles there. Now, white fir shades the forest
> floor, and competes for water and nutrients. Fire, which was a
> limiting factor in white fir life-cycles, is no longer a limiting
> factor in many parts of the Sierra (Coast Ranges, too, BTW).
> 
> Best,
> 
> D
> 
> {snip]

Limiting for growth and limiting by fire due to dehydrated foliage.  

But what do you mean by saying that fire is no longer a limiting
factor for many white fire forests in the Sierra mountains. Is fire no
longer limiting:

1) Because of fire brigades and traditional fire suppression.
2) Man made obstacles preventing fire propagation
3) Enhanced soil quality after decades or centuries with no
catastrophic fires.
4) Something else



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