A Research Study On The School Fire Occurred On Public Land

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Introduction The first question to be addressed in this study is, will there be varying tree seedling species diversity in relation to varying levels of burn severity? My hypothesis for this question is that we will see the highest tree species diversity where we see a moderate level of burn severity. The second question of the study asks, did the presence of salvage logging lead to a difference in the tree seedling densities as compared to unlogged sites? My hypothesis for this question is that there will be a greater density of tree species in the salvage logged site than the unlogged site. Methods The School Fire occurred on public land in Washington’s Umatilla National Forest in August, 2005. It burned approximately 21,000 ha of…show more content…
Once sites were selected, site specific measurements were then recorded including the elevation (m), percent slope of transects, aspect (in magnetic degrees), and the latitude and longitude, using a GPS for accuracy. Sampling on logged sites was done using 30 m belt transects extending out at varying widths depending on stand density. At low seedling stand densities belts were extended out to 6 m (3 m on each side of line), while at high seedling densities belt widths measured 2 m (1 m each side of line). On unlogged sites belt transects also varied with densities. On sample sites that were unburned with low densities (site code ULU), belt lengths measured 10 m and widths of either 2 m or 1 m. Sites with high severity and high densities (HHU) were measured with either 15m or 10 m belt lengths with 2 m belt widths. Once belt transect lengths and belt widths were established, measurements were recorded. Since this paper focuses on tree seedling and saplings, methods of larger tree measurements and understory canopy cover measurements will not be discussed. Tree seedlings and saplings were recorded only if they fell within the area encompassed by the belt transect length and width. If they did, the four-letter species code was recorded per individual seedling (ex: PIPO for ponderosa pine), its status (1 if living, 0 if dead), height (cm) from ground level, and the number of internodes to determine approximate
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