Thursday, December 15, 2016 at 2 PM Eastern /1 PM Central
Jed Meunier and Nathan S. Holoubek (Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Science Services), Peter M. Brown (Rocky Mountain Tree-Ring Research), and Tricia A. Gorby-Knoot (Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Forestry)
In spite of great variability in red pine dominated systems throughout Wisconsin there is a paucity of information on historical structure and fire. The information that we have, while frequently used, generally comes from sites with questionable applicability. Similarly, pine stands that are considered “old growth” in Wisconsin are uncommon, a problem which is compounded by the fact that nearly all of the extant “old growth” stands have matured without fire and therefore may bear little resemblance to historical pine forests in age structure, spatial arrangement, or tree density. However, understanding the relationships between disturbance, climate, and stand structure can help inform forest resilience and translate into operationally efficient prescriptions and management in pine forests. This presentation will highlight work we are doing to understand 1) the Pre(Euro)-settlement structure of red pine dominated forest across a range of moisture gradients and (2) how the natural range of variability in stand and age structure is linked to factors such as site, climate, and fire history throughout Wisconsin. We are reconstructing fire, stand structure, and climate interactions across a range of red pine sites throughout Wisconsin, which will result in the most comprehensive fire history in the Great Lakes Region.