1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Event details: A graduate exam seminar is a presentation of the student’s final research project for their degree.
This is an ALES MSc Final Exam Seminar by Rosanise Odell. This seminar is open to the general public to attend.
MSc with Dr. Charles Nock.
Thesis Topic: A comparison of residual tree mortality in forest island remnants following wildfire and harvest
In order to continue harvesting forests without causing lasting damage, Ecosystem Based Forest Management (EBFM) has been widely adopted across the globe. In Alberta, EBFM mimics natural disturbances such as wildfire by leaving behind areas of intact forest during a harvest, called island remnants. Previous studies have compared tree mortality in island remnants created by harvest to reference forests and clearcuts, but not against island remnants created by wildfires. I examined post-disturbance tree mortality a decade after disturbances to determine if harvest-created islands had similar mortality to wildfire-created islands and if forest edges experienced higher tree mortality based on disturbance type. Additionally, I investigated whether certain tree species or tree diameters influenced the probability of tree mortality. Through dendrochronological analysis, I determined the year of death for snags to quantify post-disturbance tree mortality. Harvest created island remnants did not exhibit higher residual tree mortality than reference forest or similar sized fire island remnants, however edges of fire islands had higher mortality than fire reference edges. Aspen had overall higher mortality throughout the study area than spruce, and smaller sized trees also had a higher probability of mortality. These results support the continued implementation of retention forestry using island remnants within the scope of EBFM in Alberta and may aid in promoting forest recovery and resilience following disturbances.