OOS 30 - Forest Sustainability Lessons and Future Directions: Twenty Years of Ecology in the Sierra Nevada

Wednesday, August 5, 2009: 1:30 PM-5:00 PM
Galisteo, Albuquerque Convention Center
Organizer:
Carolyn T. Hunsaker, USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station
Moderator:
Chris Knopp, USDA Forest Service
This symposium seeks to address the importance of considering physical, chemical, and biological aspects of forest ecosystems when planning for future forest sustainability. Much of the environmental legislation that defines how we manage land in the United States was written in the 1970s and 1980s. Our knowledge about ecosystem processes and our ability to measure them has dramatically increased in the past 20 years. Have research ecologists and applied scientists effectively communicated this increased knowledge or supplied new tools to land managers and the public? Today are we managing ecosystems holistically rather than just a highly visible piece like a threatened species or its habitat? Management of the Sierra Nevada has been controversial even with such a long-term management and research partnership. This landscape is undergoing significant change as a result of 80 years of fire suppression, increased air pollution, and climate change. Since 1979 the Sierra Nevada has warmed by roughly 2-degrees Farenheight. Glaciers continue to melt, more precipitation is falling as rain rather than snow, and winter snow packs are melting earlier in the spring. The consequent lengthening and deepening of the summer drought has lengthened the fire season. Many terrestrial vertebrates have moved up in elevation, and some tree mortality rates have doubled. We propose an integrated set of talks that address interrelated topics. Forest vegetation provides habitat for wildlife and influences water quality and quantity while it is affected by air pollution and changing climate. Talks on the spotted owl and fisher provide the increased science knowledge about the two most controversial terrestrial animals in the area. Fifty percent of the surface water for California comes from National Forests in the Sierra Nevada. Although water is essential for all life, the public seldom expresses interest about research in these headwater systems. The synergy between air pollution and climate change provides a sobering situation for forest sustainability, and needs to be taken into account for southern Sierra management. High levels of nitrogen and ozone can affect soil and water quality and water quantity through influences on vegetation.
1:30 PM
 Meta-analysis of fire hazard assessments within the Sierra Nevada of California
David S. Saah, Spatial Informatics Group LLC and University of San Francisco; John J. Battles, University of California, Berkeley; Scott Stephens, University of California, Berkeley; Peter A. Stine, USDA Forest Service; Max A. Moritz, University of California, Berkeley; Carolyn Hunsaker, USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station, Sierra Nevada Research Center; Brandon Collins, USDA US Forest Service; Jason Moghadas, University of California, Berkeley; David J. Ganz, The Nature Conservancy; Kurt Menning, University of San Francisco; Kevin Deniz, University of San Francisco; Travis Kay-Rugen, University of San Francisco
1:50 PM
 Closing the loop: Moisture dynamics across the soil/biotic interface in a mid-elevation forested landscape, Sierra Nevada, CA
Peter C. Hartsough, University of California, Davis; Armen Malazian, University of California, Davis; Matt Meadows, Sierra Nevada Research Institute; Jan W. Hopmans, Soil Science Society of America President; Roger Bales, Sierra Nevada Research Institute
2:10 PM
 An ecosystem management strategy for Sierran Mixed-Conifer Forests
Peter A. Stine, USDA Forest Service; Malcolm North, USDA Forest Service; Kevin O'Hara, University of California, Berkeley; William Zielinski, USDA Forest Service; Scott Stephens, University of California, Berkeley
2:30 PM
 Assessing the response of California spotted owls to forest fuels and vegetation¬†treatments
John J. Keane, Sierra Nevada Research Center, Pacific Southwest Research Station; James A. Baldwin, Pacific Southwest Research Station, USDA Forest Service; Ross A. Gerrard, Sierra Nevada Research Center, Pacific Southwest Research Station; Claire V. Gallagher, Sierra Nevada Research Center, Pacific Southwest Research Station; Paula A. Shaklee, Sierra Nevada Research Center, Pacific Southwest Research Station; Gretchen Jehle, Sierra Nevada Research Center, Pacific Southwest Research Station
2:50 PM
 Headwater ecosystem variability and changing climate:¬† Water, nitrogen, and carbon
Carolyn T. Hunsaker, USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station; Elizabeth Boyer, University of Pennsylvania; Dale W. Johnson, University of Nevada, Reno
3:10 PM
3:20 PM
 Air pollution stress and ecosystem sustainability
Andrzej Bytnerowicz, USDA Forest Service; Mark Fenn, USDA Forest Service; Carolyn T. Hunsaker, USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station; Sarah Jovan, US Forest Service; Haiganoush Preisler, USDA Forest Service
3:40 PM
 The effects of fire on nitrogen budgets of sierran forests
Dale W. Johnson, University of Nevada, Reno; Wally Miller, University of Nevada-Reno; Roger Walker, University of Nevada-Reno
4:00 PM
 Climate change and the detection of possible elevation shifts of forest species in the Sierra Nevada, California
Patrick Gonzalez, National Park Service; John J. Battles, University of California, Berkeley; Kristen M. Waring, Northern Arizona University
4:20 PM
 Scales of adaptation and determining seed zones for native grass restoration in the Sierra Nevada
Kevin J. Rice, University of California Davis; Jay Kitzmiller, USDA Forest Service; Linnea Hanson, USDA Forest Service
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