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Hemlock death and subsequent fire
dbeverid Offline
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Hemlock death and subsequent fire
Hello, I'm new to the forum but was pleased to find it today while doing research.

My question is about any current research that has recently occurred regarding the effects that the loss of eastern hemlocks will have on fire regimes in the eastern US in general. Does anyone know about any such research happening now or proposed for the future?

Thanks
02-14-2012 04:14 PM
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along Offline
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RE: Hemlock death and subsequent fire
(02-14-2012 04:14 PM)dbeverid Wrote:  Hello, I'm new to the forum but was pleased to find it today while doing research.

My question is about any current research that has recently occurred regarding the effects that the loss of eastern hemlocks will have on fire regimes in the eastern US in general. Does anyone know about any such research happening now or proposed for the future?

Thanks

That's a great question. A number of forestry research folks are working with the Appalachian ecosystems and fire. We will forward your question and see what they might know. While waiting for a response, you might want to check out the Appalachian Fire Consortium website: http://www.cafms.org .
02-16-2012 10:48 AM
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Joe Roise Offline
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RE: Hemlock death and subsequent fire
What little I know about Hemlock and fire regimes is that they are not adapted to fire and are vulnerable to mortality from fire. They usually grow in moist rich soils which have a very low frequency of fire (hundreds of years between fires). The big ones are found in moist areas that are do not seem to have a history of fire. However, seedlings and saplings can be found throughout the understory of hardwood stands in the Southern Appalachians, most commonly in coves and rich coves. Thus the recent increase in mortality of hemlock in the Southern Appalachians (due to the hemlock woolly adelgid) will result in standing dead trees that in a time of drought will burn, but in normal weather conditions will rot. The big question is what species can replace the rather important function they provide in soil and especially stream side soil protection. Their broad dense crown almost totally eliminates water impact erosion and they produce a thick duff which is also a great ground cover (soil protection).
There is a recent PhD dissertation on hemlock and fire:
Clark, K.H. 2010. Fire Regime Dynamics Following the Mid- Holocene Hemlock Decline in Eastern North America. PhD Dissertation, University of Massachusetts - Amherst
02-16-2012 11:50 AM
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dbeverid Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Hemlock death and subsequent fire
Joe,
Thanks for the quick reply. I worked for an arborist company that was assigned a contract to treat hemlocks in GSMNP and was lucky enough to be able to experience a number of high quality backcountry groves there. During that time and since, I've heard your comment echoed that the big question is what species will replace the hemlocks. What are your thoughts? A current colleague mentioned that many folks believe it will be shrub-type species such as laurel/rhododendron.

Thanks very much also for directing me to that dissertation. I will have a good look at it and perhaps present it to the discussion section of my current research in fire ecology class.
02-16-2012 12:58 PM
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wandasbailey61
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Post: #5
RE: Hemlock death and subsequent fire
Hmmm, haven't heard of it yet. Will look into it too :)
05-06-2012 08:18 PM
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PaulGaudreau Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Hemlock death and subsequent fire
I would also be very interested in knowing what the replacement tree species would work well in place of the hemlocks? A friend of mine was asking this the other day and I was not sure but told him I would do some research on the subject. Thanks
07-14-2012 10:33 AM
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jayantsalley Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Hemlock death and subsequent fire
Hi,

I just read about Hemlock death regarding to the research I viewed.Forest managers are seeking methods to control the populations, spread and impacts of woolly adelgids. This is of greater importance now as global warming hastens the northward spread of this deadly pest. Scientists must research and implement integrated pest management to facilitate prevention and treatment of infestations.
07-30-2012 04:25 AM
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sunnymui Offline
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RE: Hemlock death and subsequent fire
Besides the Clark paper,is there any other research on this topic?
01-10-2013 05:10 PM
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along Offline
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RE: Hemlock death and subsequent fire
(01-10-2013 05:10 PM)sunnymui Wrote:  Besides the Clark paper,is there any other research on this topic?


the following paper that just came out provides a pretty good summary of observed and potential effects of hemlock dieback:
http://www.srs.fs.fed.us/pubs/ja/2013/ja...se_001.pdf
01-15-2013 05:28 PM
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