Advisor: Mark Ashton
This summer I intend to research the stocking densities of the Aleppo pine, pinus halepensis, forest stands adjacent to the recent burn areas in the Carmel Forest, and compare these to stands of differing age classes within the same forest. I intend to investigate the following overarching question and its sub-questions:
- What silvicultural management regimes would create a path towards increased forest resiliency in relation to increased drought and proneness to fire?
- What stocking densities would reduce vulnerabilities to future catastrophic fires?
- What specific prescriptions for new planting regimes will increase carbon sequestration potential while ensuring permanence?
My research will thus focus on the following objectives:
- Measure in-situ pine forest density (directly adjacent to burn areas)
- Measure density from stands of different age-classes within the same forest that burned in different years, forming a chronosequence to analyze fuel buildup across time
- Compare observed densities to literature of more resilient pine stands in southwestern US
- Prescribe new management regime of thinning for existing forests, and reduced stocking densities for future plantations
- Quantify carbon of sample locations and future plantations, and recalculate based on prescriptions
Using ERDAS remote sensing software, in consultation with KKL foresters and available GIS shape files, I will “ground-truth” areas adjacent to the burn area from the recent fire, and compare against areas regenerating after the previous fire of 1989 and with stands showing no recorded burns since planting.