Forest Investment Account

Abstract of FIA Project Y051127

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Experimental approach to evaluate impacts of the recent Okanagan Mountain Park fire on large woody debris recruitment and transportation processes

Author(s): Wei, Adam
Imprint: Kelowna, B.C. : Okanagan University College, 2005
Subject: Forest Investment Account (FIA), Coarse woody debris, Aquatic habitats, British Columbia
Series: Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program


The severe Okanagan Mountain Park forest fire that occurred in the summer of 2003 provided a unique opportunity for examining impacts of large-scale wildfire on watershed processes. With the funding from the BC Forest Science Program, a long-term research trial involving three fire-burned watersheds and three comparable control sites has been established in the interior Douglas-fir (IDF) biogeoclimatic zone of southern interior of British Columbia in 2004/2005. The purpose of this trial is to monitor ecological impacts of wildfire disturbance on large woody debris (LWD) recruitment and in-stream transportation processes. The long-term trial also allows evaluation of interactions between LWD and aquatic habitat, which has important implications for designing forest management strategies. For establishment of the long-term trial, a 100m of stream reach was selected for each identified watershed. Physical channel characteristic such as bankfull depth, width, slope, thalweg profiles, substrates, etc., were surveyed. For each LWD piece within the study reaches, diameter, length, orientation, submersion, function, decay state, and input mechanism were documented. The location of each piece of LWD in relation to the monumented reference point was recorded by the total survey station. All LWD pieces within the reach studied were tagged in two places with numbered metal disks that uniquely identify each piece. The tagged disks will allow identification of the LWD over successive years to determine recruitment, transport, and movement of LWD at the reach level.

For further information, please contact Adam Wei, Okanagan University College (

Updated September 08, 2005 

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