Ecological Impacts of Forest Fuel Treatments in Alaska

Although vegetation treatments can reduce fire potential, they may have unintended ecological effects, but there has been little published on possible impacts—especially for Alaska. So the recent publication (Melvin, et al. 2017) of a study on interior Alaska rxbAA42_ks-sm2.jpgfuel treatments by an interdisciplinary team of researchers is an important addition to regional management resources. In fact, it probably represents the FIRST published paper specifically on how fuel-reduction affects carbon and nutrient pools, permafrost thaw, and forest successional trajectories. The analysis included 19 sites managed by numerous Alaska agencies covering a large swath from Nenana to Deltana, and were sampled at various ages from 2-12 years post-thinning or shearblading.  Our third AFSC Research Brief of 2017 is a digest of the study results.

Full Citation:  Melvin, A. M., et al. (2017), Fuel-reduction management alters plant composition, carbon and nitrogen pools, and soil thaw in Alaskan boreal forest. Ecol Appl. Accepted Author Manuscript. doi:10.1002/eap.1636

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PNW Ecotone: New podcast series highlights research in AK, OR and WA

The USFS Pacific Northwest Research Station has recently launched the new “PNW Ecotone” podcast series.  These podcasts will cover the latest science findings, tools, and research topics from the 11 PNW laboratories and centers located in Alaska, Oregon and Washington.

Podcast episodes are available for download or streaming, along with photos, related articles, and transcripts at:  http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/podcasts

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