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Western juniper woodland Owyhee Mountains, Idaho Fire ecology of juniper and pinyon-juniper woodlands Ecology of Arid and Semi-arid lands

Fire ecology of juniper and pinyon-juniper woodlands Fire ecology of juniper...Western juniper woodland Owyhee Mountains, Idaho Fire ecology of juniper and pinyon-juniper woodlands

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  • Western juniper woodland

    Owyhee Mountains, Idaho

    Fire ecology of juniper and pinyon-juniper woodlands

    Ecology of Arid and

    Semi-arid lands

    http://www.cnr.uidaho.edu/cnr/

  • Common juniper and pinyon/juniper woodlands:

    Western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis)

    Utah juniper-singleleaf pinyon (J. osteosperma, P. monophylla)

    Utah juniper-pinyon (J. osteosperma, P. edulis)

    Oneseed juniper-pinyon (J. monosperma, P. edulis)

    Redberry juniper (J. pinchotii)

    Ashe juniper (J. ashei)

    Eastern red “cedar” (J. virginiana)

  • Source: USGS, http://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/p1650-a/pages/conifers.html

  • Source: USGS, http://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/p1650-a/pages/conifers.html

  • Source: USGS, http://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/p1650-a/pages/conifers.html

  • Source: USGS, http://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/p1650-a/pages/conifers.html

    Juoc

    Juos

    Jumo

    Jupi

    Juas

    What climatic changes are occurring along this gradient?

  • Source: USGS, http://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/p1650-a/pages/conifers.html

  • Source: USGS, http://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/p1650-a/pages/conifers.html

  • Source: USGS, http://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/p1650-a/pages/conifers.html

  • Pinyon pine (Pinus edulis)

    Owl Canyon, Larimer County,

    Colorado

    Source: USGS, http://biology.usgs.gov/luhna/chap9.html

    Photos: 1950, J.D. Wright (above);

    1989, R.M. Turner (right)

    http://geochange.er.usgs.gov/sw/impacts/biology/paleobotany/julio_01.gifhttp://geochange.er.usgs.gov/sw/impacts/biology/paleobotany/julio_02.gif

  • Oneseed juniper (Juniperus

    monosperma),

    Enchanted Mesa, Cibola

    County, New Mexico

    Photos: 1899, W.H. Jackson (above);

    1977, H.E. Malde (right)

    Source: USGS, http://biology.usgs.gov/luhna/chap9.html

  • Fire SuppressionIntroduction

    Livestock

    Es

    tab

    lish

    men

    t (%

    )Woodland Age Structure

    1650 1700 1750 1800 1850 1900 1950 2000

    Fire event

    Miller et al. 2005

  • Succession in a Western Juniper Community

    Grassland after fire Mountain big

    sagebrush steppeStand initiation juniper

    (Phase 1)

    Open young juniper

    (Phase 2)

    Young multistory juniper

    (Phase 3)

    Old multi-story juniper

  • Early western juniper encroachment

  • Miller et al. 2005

    A conceptual model illustrating the relationship between shrub

    cover, tree canopy cover, relative growth rates and management

    strategies during the three phases of woodland development

  • Phase 3 woodland: low fine fuel loading

  • Mt Bluebirds

    Mt Chickadees

    Chipping sparrows

    Flycatchers

    Juncos

    Sage thrasher

    Sage sparrow

    Brewers sparrow

    Green tailed towhee

    Vesper sparrow

    Horned lark

    Western Meadowlarks

    Finches

    10 25 50 100

    Years

    Photo: P. LaTourrette

    Miller et al. 2005

  • Miller et al. 2005

    Woodland ExpansionP

    erc

    en

    t

    0

    2

    4

    6

    8

    10

    12

    14

    1600 1650 1700 1750 1800 1850 1900 1950 2000

    Decade

    Perc

    en

    t

    0

    2

    4

    6

    8

    10

    12

    1600 1650 1700 1750 1800 1850 1900 1950 20001600 1650 1700 1750 1800 1850 1900 1950 2000

  • Miller and Tausch 2001, Miller et al. 2005

    Factors influencing expansion of western juniper

    since the late 1880’s and throughout the 1900’s.

  • Phase 3 woodland: pre-fire

  • Phase 3 woodland: 1st year post-burn

  • Phase 3 woodland: 1st year post-burn

  • Phase 3 woodland: 2nd year post-burn

  • Phase 3 woodland: 5th year post-burn

  • Phase 3 woodland: 7th year post-burn

  • Phase 3 woodland: 12th year post-burn

  • Phase 1 woodland: Pre-burn

  • Phase 1 woodland: 3rd year post-burn

  • Phase 1 woodland: 7th year post-burn

  • Current Creek

    Smith Creek

    Red Canyon Creek

    Hurry Back Creek

    Juniper Mountain, Owyhee Uplands, Idaho

    Landsat 5 imagery, July 1992

  • Current vegetation within the Smith Creek

    Watershed, Owyhee Plateau, Idaho

  • Low sagebrush steppe

    Mountain big sagebrush steppe

    Sagebrush steppe or young juniper

    Juniper initiation woodland

    Western juniper woodland

    Mountain-mahogany woodland

    Other

    Smith Creek Watershed

    1800

    1900

    1989

  • Species richness of vascular plants in various

    stages of western juniper succession

    Successional stage Number of species

    Herbaceous 65

    Sagebrush steppe 65

    Young juniper woodland 60

    Mature juniper woodland 70

    Total number of species 133

    Note: The number of species found at any sample location averaged

    about 32 (Range = 28-37), regardless of the successional stage.

  • Common vascular plants of

    the juniper woodland

    Arrowleaf balsamroot

    Wild onion

    False dandelion

    Mat wild-buckwheat

    Skullcap

    Silky lupine

  • Red Canyon Creek Smith Creek

    1800 1900 1986 1800 1900 1986

    280 210 132 410 363 163

    23 31 49 17 19 42

    0.014 0.013 0.010 0.016 0.015 0.009

    Patch number

    Mean patch

    size (ha)

    Edge density

    (m/ha)

    Changes in patch size and edge: 1800-1986

    Patch size has increased and this has resulted in

    the simplification of the landscape.

  • Red Canyon Creek Smith Creek

    1800 1900 1986 1800 1900 1986

    1.96 2.09 2.22 1.94 1.99 2.23

    0.083 0.084 0.094 0.156 0.174 0.326

    Mean patch

    shape index

    Mean patch

    perimeter/area

    ratio

    Changes in patch shape: 1800-1986

    Patch size have become more irregular in shape

    as patch have coalesced into larger patches of

    the same type.

  • Red Canyon Creek Smith Creek

    1800 1900 1986 1800 1900 1986

    77.4 68.2 60.7 72.4 65.6 58.8

    1.69 1.47 1.39 1.80 1.62 1.54

    0.87 0.82 0.78 0.82 0.78 0.74

    Interspersion

    Juxtaposition

    Index

    Shannon’s

    diversity index

    Shannon’s

    evenness index

    Changes in landscape diversity: 1800-1986

    The landscape has become less diverse and

    more dominated by a few patch types- those with

    middle aged and mature juniper.

  • Why does the change to a landscape that is more

    dominated by juniper matter?

    - Species conservation

    (Photo by M. Salvo USFWS)

    Sage thrasher

    Sage grouse

    Applegate’s paintbrush

  • Why does the change to a landscape that is more

    dominated by juniper matter?

    - Species conservation

    - Water conservation

  • Why does the change to a landscape that is more

    dominated by juniper matter?

    - Species conservation

    - Soil and water conservation

    - Forage

  • Why does the change to a landscape that is more

    dominated by juniper matter?

    - Species conservation

    - Soil and water conservation

    - Forage

    - Fire behavior

    Photo by Rick Miller

  • Mountain big sagebrush fuel loading by cover type

    0.0

    0.5

    1.0

    1.5

    2.0

    2.5

    Artr Steppe Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 Mature

    Woodland

    Fu

    el lo

    ad

    ing

    (M

    ton

    s / h

    a)

    1 Hour 10 Hour 100 Hour Live

    GrassJuniper litter

    Sagebrush stems

  • Mountain big sagebrush fuel bed depth by cover type

    0

    10

    20

    30

    40

    50

    Artr Steppe Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 Mature

    woodland

    Fu

    el b

    ed

    de

    pth

    (c

    m)

    Fuel bed depth

  • Mountain big sagebrush flame length

    and fuel bed depth by cover type

    0

    1

    2

    3

    4

    5

    6

    Artr Steppe Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 Mature

    woodland

    Fla

    me len

    gth

    (m

    )

    0

    10

    20

    30

    40

    50

    Fu

    el b

    ed

    de

    pth

    (c

    m)

    Flame length

    Fuel bed depth

  • Mountain big sagebrush fire behavior

    0 50 100 150 200 250 300

    Mature

    woodland

    Phase 3

    Phase 2

    Phase 1

    Artr SteppeC

    ov

    er

    typ

    e

    Rate of spread (m/min)

  • Western juniper/low sagebrush

    woodlandTerry Spivey, USDA Forest Service, www.forestryimages.org

  • Low sagebrush fuel loading by cover type

    0.0

    0.5

    1.0

    1.5

    2.0

    2.5

    Arar Steppe Phase 1 Phase 2 Mature

    woodland

    Fu

    el lo

    ad

    ing

    (M

    ton

    s / h

    a)

    1 Hour 10 Hour 100 Hour Live

  • Low sagebrush flame length by cover type

    0

    1.5

    3

    4.5

    Arar Steppe W1 Arar W2 Arar W5 Arar

    Fla

    me

    le

    ng

    th (

    m)

    Flame length

    Arar steppe Phase 1 Phase 2 Mature

    woodland

  • Low sagebrush flame length

    and fuel bed depth by cover type

    0

    1.5

    3

    4.5

    Arar Steppe Phase 1 Phase 2 Mature

    woodland

    Fla

    me

    le

    ng

    th (

    m)

    0

    5

    10

    15

    20

    25

    Fu

    el b

    ed

    de

    pth

    (c

    m)

    Flame length

    Fuel bed depth

  • Low sagebrush fire behavior

    0 50 100 150 200

    Mature

    woodland

    Phase 2

    Phase 1

    Arar Steppe

    Co

    ve

    r ty

    pe

    Rate of Spread (m/min)

  • How do the changes in fire behavior

    affect the watershed composition

  • Modeling Landscape

    ChangeLooking into the future -

    Ecological Modeling

    Red Canyon Creek

    Watershed

    ?

    2025

  • Input data layers

    created using GIS

    Modeling in external

    computer programs

    VDDT and TELSA or

    LANDSUM

    Output linked to GIS

    layer for final display

    Landscape

    analysis through

    FRAGSTATS or

    other stat package

  • Current vegetation cover type map

  • Management scenarios modeled

    • Current wildfire management

    • Prescribed fire- 2%/decade

    • Prescribed fire- 5%/decade

    • Prescribed fire- 7%/decade

    • Prescribed fire- 5%/decade, including

    young multistory woodlands

  • Photo by Rick Miller

    How much fire is necessary to

    maintain landscape diversity?

  • Watershed area (%) Present 50 yr 100 yr 200 yr

    Present 50 years 100 years

    200 years

    Grassland 0.7 0.9 1.3 1.5

    Low sagebrush 4.4 3.9 4.0 3.9

    Mtn big sagebrush 1.4 3.2 2.2 2.3

    Phase 1 juniper 0.3 4.3 2.1 1.1

    Phase 2 juniper 19.9 11.6 3.3 0.7

    Phase 3 juniper 34.4 53.4 58.0 47.2

    Old multi-story jun.11.2 16.2 23.4 38.3

    Mtn-mahogany 2.6 2.6 1.5 1.4

    Smith Creek Watershed- Wildfire only

  • Smith Creek - after 100 years under current fire

    occurrence

    Other landscape metrics:

    Simpson’s evenness index declines.

    Landscape diversity deceases.

    Contagion index increases.

    Interspersion-Juxtaposition index decreases.

    Total edge decreases.

  • Smith Creek Watershed Composition after 100 years

    Present Wildfire 2% Rx

    5% Rx 7% Rx5% Rx including

    Phase 2 woodlands

  • Area of mountain big sagebrush steppe in

    Red Canyon Creek under varying prescribed

    fire regimes (Steppe and Phase I).

    0

    400

    800

    1200

    1600

    2000

    present 50 100 200

    Current mgt

    2%/decade

    5%/decade

    7%/decade

    Time period (yrs in future)

    Are

    a (

    ha)

    Fire management

    regime

    Note: Values are

    an average of 10

    model runs.

  • Area of mountain big sagebrush steppe in

    Smith Creek under varying prescribed fire

    regimes (Steppe and Phase I).

    Time period (yrs in future)

    Are

    a (

    ha

    )

    Fire management

    regime

    Note: Values are

    an average of 10

    model runs.

    0

    200

    400

    600

    800

    1000

    present 50 100 200

    Current

    Rx fire 2%

    Rx fire 5%

    Rx fire 7%

  • Grass/Forb herbland 0.7 1.3 2.6 4.9 6.9 4.9

    Low sage steppe 4.4 4.0 4.8 8.2 9.6 7.0

    Mountain sage steppe 1.4 2.2 4.2 10.8 13.8 10.7

    Phase 1 juniper woodland 20.3 2.1 6.4 8.4 7.8 11.5

    Phase 2 juniper woodland 19.9 3.3 2.9 2.0 1.0 3.5

    Phase 3 juniper woodland 34.4 58.0 50.1 36.7 32.2 37.4

    Mature juniper woodland 11.2 23.4 23.6 23.5 23.3 19.9

    Mountain-mahogany 2.6 1.5 0.5 0.1 0.0 0.5

    Present Wildfire 2% Rx 5% Rx 7% Rx 5%+

    Phase2

    Smith Creek - cover after 100 years under

    different fire scenarios

    Watershed area (%)

    Amount per decade

  • Tongue Complex Fire

    July 6-29, 2007

    Total area: 46,680 acres

    Ignition source: Lightning

    *

    *

    USDI BLM map and photo

    Tongue Complex Fire 7-15-07

    Red Canyon Creek

  • Tongue Complex Fire, July 2008: 1st growing season postburn

  • Tongue Complex Fire, July 2008: 1st growing season postburn

  • Tongue Complex Fire, July 2008: 1st growing season postburn

  • Sagebrush steppe

    Phase I

    Tongue Complex Fire, July 2009: 2nd growing season postburn

  • Phase II

    Tongue Complex Fire, July 2009: 2nd growing season postburn

  • Phase III

    Tongue Complex Fire, July 2009: 2nd growing season postburn