Portland State University. Department of Biology.
Robert O. Tinnin
Date of Award
Master of Science (M.S.) in Biology
1 online resource (2, iii, 43 p.)
Forest plants -- Columbia River Gorge (Or. and Wash.), Forest regeneration -- Columbia River Gorge (Or. and Wash.), Forest fires -- Columbia River Gorge (Or. and Wash.)
Between October 9, 1991 and October 16, 1991 a fire burned 577 hectares in the Columbia River Gorge near the west end on the Oregon side. All of the area burned consisted of second growth Pseudotsuga menziesii and the accompanying understory. This was the first disturbance of this magnitude in this part of the Columbia River Gorge since 1902. The purpose of this study was to examine the pattern of understory recovery in the first two years following the fire. This study also sought to learn: 1) how Pseudotsuga menziesii seedlings are recruited into the population, 2) how quickly the litter layer is a reforming, and 3) how quickly snags and downed logs are recruited into the understory. Four 800 square meter circular plots were established within the burned area of the Columbia River Gorge. Two plots were designated sun plots since the fire had killed the overstory. The other two were designated shade sites since the canopy over them was still intact. Twenty five randomly placed sample units (20 x 50 centimeters) were placed in each main plot. The plots were then sampled at approximately onemonth intervals from May through September of 1992 and 1993. The frequency and percentage of cover was recorded for all plant species that occurred in each sample unit. The data from 1992 and 1993 were compared by date of visit and type of plot, either (sun or shade) using the Pearson Goodness-of-Fit Test to examine and compare differences in the extent of cover and distribution of understory species. No significant differences were found. An increase in species richness and relative abundance of understory species was noted between pre-fire data collected by the US Forest Service and what I found. However, statistical analysis was not possible because of the limited data collection in the pre-fire sample.
Pittsenbarger, Mark Alan, "A Study of Understory Plant Recovery After a Forest Fire in the Columbia River Gorge" (1994). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 4772.