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

O18-C-O16 hcf32 at
Mon Aug 9 11:34:28 EST 2004

wxdano9 at (Dano) wrote in message news:<e351cb91.0408082102.750481da at>...
> hcf32 at (O18-C-O16) wrote in message news:<5d02cf45.0408071325.1329df5 at>...
> [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

More information about the Ag-forst mailing list