Hero Image

Tahoe Forest Reference Conditions

mapping image
Project to Identify Spatially Explicit Reference Conditions for Forest Landscapes in the Lake Tahoe Basin

Final Report Taylor 2012 Identifying spatially explicit reference conditions for forest landscapes in the Lake Tahoe Basin

Investigators: Dr. Alan Taylor and Dr. Stockton Maxwell, The Pennsylvania State University, Carl Skinner, USFS-PSW, Dr. Hugh Safford, USFS-PSW

The goals of the project were to:

1) identify the relationships among spatial variability in pre-settlement forest structure (composition, density, basal area, size structure), topographic variables, and spatial variability in fire regimes (fire return interval, season of burn) in the lower and upper montane forest zones of the Lake Tahoe basin; and

2) develop a spatially explicit reconstruction of the pre-settlement forest landscape conditions and associated fire regimes for the Lake Tahoe basin that can be used by land managers in restoring forest ecosystems. To achieve these goals, we have sampled forest structure, collected increment cores and fire-scarred cross sections, and measured fuel loadings in the remaining old-growth stands in the basin. Combined with data from previous studies, we have dendro-ecologically reconstructed forest conditions and disturbance history in plots to pre-fire suppression conditions.  Next, we implemented a random forest model predicting forest type and structure using eco-physiographic variables. This model has been applied across the basin to produce a basin-wide map of forest conditions prior to major human disturbance.

Workshop to Identify Spatially Explicit Reference Conditions for Forest Landscapes in the Lake Tahoe Basin

The goal of the workshop was to inform managers about pre- settlement forest condition, demonstrate products to users, and receive feedback on the project.

Flyer for 3-9-12 workshop on Tahoe reference conditions

Tahoe Reference Condition Workshop Agenda

For More information:  Contact Dr. Stockton Maxwell, Penn State University, rsm16@psu.edu