Source: OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY submitted to
ASSESSING POST-FIRE LAND MANAGEMENT PRACTICES TO IMPROVE RECOVERY OF SOIL HEALTH, VEGETATION, AND ECOSYSTEM SERVICES
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
NEW
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
1027739
Grant No.
2022-67019-37057
Project No.
OREZ-FERM-899
Proposal No.
2021-09188
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
A1401
Project Start Date
Sep 1, 2022
Project End Date
Aug 31, 2026
Grant Year
2022
Project Director
Bladon, K. D.
Recipient Organization
OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY
(N/A)
CORVALLIS,OR 97331
Performing Department
Forest Engnring Resource Mngmt
Non Technical Summary
The goal of the proposed research is to quantify the effects of wildfire and post-fire land management practices on soil physical properties, biogeochemical processes, and vegetation recovery. Achieving this goal will facilitate improved policy and management decisions that will reduce soil erodibility, improve soil nutrient availability, and encourage vegetation regeneration in areas impacted by wildfires. This research is important because wildfire activity has increased dramatically in recent years in the western United States resulting in widespread post-fire land management activities, which have been undertaken to recoup economic value from burned forests, improve forest safety, expedite recovery of soil health, promote revegetation, and restore forest and aquatic ecosystem functions. However, limited research on post-fire land management strategies has led to uncertainty about the efficacy of the available management practices. Moreover, our preliminary data has led to unexpected results, indicating the need for additional research to inform development of decision support tools for post-fire land management practices. To achieve our goal, we will address the following three objectives:Determine the effectiveness of various post-fire land management practices (e.g., emergency stabilization, salvage logging, revegetation, herbicide application) in improving soil physical properties and soil hydrological processes, including infiltration capacity, saturated hydraulic conductivity, and soil water storage.Quantify the effectiveness of post-fire land management practices in reducing erosion and improving soil fertility (carbon and nitrogen).Quantify the effectiveness of post-fire land management practices in improving overall soil productivity by assessing vegetation recovery.
Animal Health Component
0%
Research Effort Categories
Basic
65%
Applied
35%
Developmental
0%
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
1020110206125%
1020320205025%
1120110101025%
1220320107025%
Goals / Objectives
The goal of the proposed research is to quantify the effects of wildfire and post-fire land management practices on soil physical properties and biogeochemical processes. Achieving this goal will facilitate improved policy and management decisions that will reduce soil erodibility, improve soil nutrient availability, and encourage vegetation regeneration in areas impacted by wildfires.To achieve our goal, we will address the following three objectives:Determine the effectiveness of various post-fire land management practices (e.g., emergency stabilization, salvage logging, revegetation, herbicide application) in improving soil physical properties and soil hydrological processes, including infiltration capacity, saturated hydraulic conductivity, and soil water storage.Quantify the effectiveness of post-fire land management practices in reducing erosion and improving soil fertility (carbon and nitrogen).Quantify the effectiveness of post-fire land management practices in improving overall soil productivity by assessing vegetation recovery.
Project Methods
Our research will occur on the west side of the Cascade Mountains in Oregon, which were recently burned by large, high severity wildfires.As part of the restoration plan, the landownerwill use a range of management strategies, including (a) natural regeneration, (b) interplanting below burned stands, (c) salvage logging and replanting of seedlings, and (d) salvage logging and aerial seeding. We willuse established research methods, when possible, to measure the efficacy of these post-fire management options at improving soil health and promoting vegetative recovery. The study will focus on 28 hillslopes with seven replicates of each of the four post-fire land management approaches. Replicate hillslopes will have similar slopes, aspects, pre-fire soils, pre-fire vegetation cover, and will be representative of high burn severity as determined by remote sensing and field surveys.To determine the effectiveness of post-fire land management practices in improving soil physical properties and soil hydrological processes,we will collect soil samples from replicates of each of the four post-fire land management treatments. We will use the samples to quantify particle size distribution, organic matter content, unsaturated hydraulic conductivity, soil water repellency, and soil water retention curves.We will also install soil water monitoring sites to quantify volumetric water content and soil water potential continuously across years. This data will be used to better understand how the different post-fire management options influence soil water availability for vegetation recovery.To quantify the effectiveness of post-fire land management practices in reducing erosion and improving soil fertilitywe will trap eroded sediment from study hillslopes using sediment fences.Eroded sediment will be captured in the sediment fences and use to quantify plot sediment yields and relate them to precipitation event intensities. At each of the hillslope plots, we will also collect mineral soil from three depths to quantify available soil nutrients. This data will help understand how the different post-fire management options influence soil and nutrient retention on-site or nutrient export due to erosion.To quantify the effectiveness of post-fire land management practices in improving overall soil productivity by assessing vegetation recovery we will quantify ground cover and vegetation growth rates each year over the project duration. Specifically, we will quantify percent area covered, heights and diameters of woody vegetation, and biomass. We will relate this data with the soil water retention and soil nutrient data to enable development of decision support tools for post-fire land-management practices that will lead to improved soil health and productivity.