Forest Investment Account

Abstract of FII Project R04-051

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Quantification of the Difference in In-stream Woody Debris Budgets between Harvesting and Wildfire Disturbance in the Interior of BC

Author(s): Wei, Xiaohua (Adam) (Okanagan University College)
Subject: Ecology, Fire, Forestry, Geomorphology, Hydrology, Silviculture/Forest Management Systems
Series: Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program


Large woody debris (LWD) in stream channels of forest regions is an essential ecosystem component. It influences channel morphology, the composition of riparian vegetation, nutrient dynamics, and fish habitat. Despite its importance there is very limited information on LWD in the streams of the BC interior. Lack of such information greatly limits our ability to protect this important ecosystem component, and also results in debate as to whether current forest practices mimic wildfire disturbance in the BC interior. This proposed study will compare LWD budgets between harvested and wildfire-killed watersheds in the southern interior of British Columbia. LWD budgets are necessary for defining relative importance of different recruitment processes including episodic forest death (fire or harvesting), forest growth and chronic mortality, bank erosion, mass wasting, decay and stream transportation over short and long periods. The results from this proposed study will have significant implications for designing riparian management strategies or guidelines. It is important to note that this proposal is complementary to the Ministry of Forests (Dan Hogan) proposed research related to LWD (MoF Research Proposal titled: Stream channels, large woody debris and managed watersheds in biogeoclimatic zones). As indicated in the proposal we are working with the MoF in order to ensure that we effectively utilize resources and avoid duplication.

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

Updated September 08, 2005 

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