Ecological research backs fire mimicry approach

31 10 2009

Science Daily is reporting on a new study that documents the importance of fire feedbacks in maintaining savanna woodlands. Fire feedbacks are the ecological basis for employing fire mimicry to restore the oak savannas here in California. While I don’t have much faith in the mathematical models that these scientists are using, it is interesting that they have come to the same conclusion I have reached based on my own, and others’, empirical studies.

From Science Daily (Oct. 29, 2009):

Trees Facilitate Wildfires As A Way To Protect Their Habitat

Fire is often thought of something that trees should be protected from, but a new study suggests that some trees may themselves contribute to the likelihood of wildfires in order to promote their own abundance at the expense of their competitors. Read the rest of this entry »

Fire mimicry results with oaks, pines, and more . . .

28 10 2009

As much as I would like to post more frequently on all the interesting work that is going on in land and tree stewardship, the fact is that I spend most of my time out working on the trees and soils, which leaves me limited time for blogging. There is so much I can do for a sick tree that I prefer to simply get on with doing the work rather than write about it.

Here is where my Canon Eos 30D comes in handy. I could measure and discuss percentage changes in crown density or leaf area index, but you’d be bored and the oaks would still be dying. With repeat photography I have more time to work on trees and it allows you to better view and judge for yourself the results of these efforts.

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Read the rest of this entry »

Early season rainfall pH measurements in Big Sur

19 10 2009

Here is some news for those of you interested in following the story of acid rain in Big Sur. The first rains have arrived here in Big Sur in a big way, 8.45″ of rain fell between Oct. 12 and 14. The pH readings on the first 3 inches of rain averaged 5.41, the highest value (lowest acidity) yet recorded in over three years of measurements.

Another small storm brought some rain today (Oct. 19) which totaled just 0.14″, with a pH value of 4.79. This value is more in line with readings from the previous three years and represents a significant drop (increase in acidity) compared to the heavy rains last week.

What do you suppose is going on?