Research‎ > ‎

Climate change, Wildfire, and Fuel Treatment Effects in the Lake Tahoe Basin

Full proposal: HERE

Abstract:  Managing large forested landscape in the context of changing climate regimes and altered disturbance regimes presents new challenges and will require an integrated assessment that incorporates forest disturbance, management, succession, and the carbon cycle. Successful management requires information about the inherent trade-offs among multiple objectives and improved awareness of the opportunities for spatially optimizing management on the landscape. We are evaluating the effects of fire suppression, wildfires, and forest fuel (thinning) treatments on the long-term potential for Lake Tahoe forests to sequester carbon in a global change context. We are also assessing the tradeoffs among management for C sequestration, mechanical fuel treatments, and stochastically recurring wildfires. Predicted changes in climate and ignition patterns will be simulated in response to future meteorological conditions, vegetation dynamics, and fuel treatments to examine the long-term effects on C emissions, forest structure, and forest composition.

Funding: Sierra Nevada Public Lands Management Act (SNPLMA)

Participants at PSU: Louise Loudermilk, Robert Scheller, Alec Kretchun

Collaborators: Peter Weisberg (UNR), Jian Yang (UNR), Alison Stanton, Carl Skinner (USFS), Matt Hurteau (Penn State)

Status:  Ongoing

Related Links:  Tahoe Science Consortium


Loudermilk, E.L., R.M. Scheller, P.J. Weisberg, J. Yang, A. Stanton, T. Dilts, S.L. Karam, C. Skinner.  In press. Carbon Dynamics in the Future Forest: The Importance of Long-Term Successional Legacy and Climate-Fire Interactions.  Global Change Biology.

Loudermilk, E.L., Scheller, R.M. ,Weisberg, P.J., Yang, J., Stanton, A, Skinner, C. Effectiveness of fuel treatments on mitigating wildfire risk and sequestering forest carbon in a changing climate within the Lake Tahoe Basin. Manuscript in preparation.

Result of the 2007 Angora Fire (Picture taken in 2009)

See continuous new results HERE!

Presentations & Workshops:
Loudermilk, E.L., R.M. Scheller, P. Weisberg, J. Yang, A. Stanton, C. Skinner.  Long-term effects of fuel treatments and wildfire on forest carbon in a changing climate.  Invited Speaker at a Special Session of the Association for Fire Ecology 5th International Congress.  December, 2012. Portland, OR.
Climate change vs. landscape legacy effects on future forest dynamics
Loudermilk, E.L., R.M. Scheller, P. Weisberg, J. Yang, A.E. Stanton, C. Skinner, T. Dilts.  Climate change and landscape legacy effects on forest carbon dynamics and wildfires in the Lake Tahoe Basin.  Invited Speaker at Organized Oral Session at the Ecological Society of America 97th Annual Meeting.  August, 2012. Portland, OR.

LTB Manager's Workshop
Forest Responses to Fuel Treatments in a Changing Climate. Loudermilk, E.L., A. Stanton, R.M. Scheller, J. Yang, P. Weisberg, C. Skinner. Tahoe Science Consortium. May 2012, Incline Village, NV.

Fuel Treatments, Climate Change, and Forest Carbon
Loudermilk, E.L., R.M. Scheller, P. Weisberg, J. Yang, A. Stanton, C Skinner. Forest Fuel Treatments in a Changing Climate: Assessing Forest Productivity & Carbon Storage Potential. Tahoe Science Consortium. May 2012, Incline Village, NV.

View our recorded presentation of Preliminary Results (April 2011)

LTB Manager's Workshop: Developing Fuel Treatments Options. Loudermilk, E.L., A. Stanton, R.M. Scheller.  May 2011. TRPA Stateline, NV.

Loudermilk, E.L., R.M. Scheller, P. Weisberg, J. Yang, A. Stanton, T. Dilts, C, Skinner. Modeling above and below ground forest carbon in response to future climate projections and wildfire activity in the Lake Tahoe Basin. International Association of Landscape Ecology Meeting. April 2011, Portland, OR.

Scheller, R.M., P. Weisberg, and E.L. Loudermilk. Management Options for Reducing Wildfire Risk and Maximizing Carbon Storage: The Effects of Climate Change, Altered Ignition Patterns, and Fuel Treatments. Invited Speaker at the Symposium on Forest Management Decision Support Tools: How can they inform decisions in the Tahoe basin? November, 2010. Incline Village, NV.