Canadian Forest Service Publications

Effects of overstorey mortality on snow accumulation and ablation - Phase 2. 2009. Teti, P. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Pacific Forestry Centre, Victoria, BC. Mountain Pine Beetle Working Paper 2009-15. 19 p.

Year: 2009

Available from: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 30497

Language: English

Series: Mountain Pine Beetle Working Paper (PFC - Victoria)

CFS Availability: Order paper copy (free), PDF (download)

Abstract

Pine-dominated forests in British Columbia are changing due to the current mountain pine beetle epidemic and to salvage harvesting operations. This is resulting in mature pine-leading forests being converted to a patchwork of cut blocks, plantations, and deteriorating beetle-killed stands. Hydrologic changes are therefore expected in watersheds dominated by lodgepole pine due to these natural and human disturbances. This project documents stand structure and snow hydrology in both healthy and beetle-attacked pine stands of different ages over a large geographic area. Snow storage and ablation rates in treed plots were compared with recent clearcuts to standardize data. The ratios of snow ablation rates in treed plots to those in adjacent clearcuts (snow ablation ratio) were proportional to plot-average solar radiation transmittance over a wide variety of lodgepole pine stands and geography. No similarly universal relation was found for snow storage at the start of the main ablation season, possibly because varying winter weather conditions confounded studies of the forest canopy and net snow accumulation. This project assists in the development of process-based hydrologic models by providing stand-level data on the structure and snow hydrology of growing and deteriorating pine stands at different post-disturbance ages. This will help watershed modellers improve the accuracy of hydrologic predictions under different forest disturbance scenarios.

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