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University of Alaska Fairbanks

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Detailed observations of stream, soil, and groundwater chemistry were used to determine the role of fire, permafrost and snowmelt processes on the fluxes of carbon, nitrogen and major solutes from interior Alaskan catchments. We examined an experimentally burned watershed and two reference watersheds that differ in permafrost coverage (high, 53%; medium-burn, 18%; and low, 4%) during the FROSTFIRE prescribed burn in July 1999. The fire elevated stream nitrate concentrations for a short period during the first post-fire storm, but nitrate declined thereafter, suggesting that less severe fires that leave an intact riparian zone may have only a short-term effect on stream chemistry. Nevertheless, we found fundamental...
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Concerns about wildland fuel levels and a growing wildland-urban interface (WUI) have pushed wildland fire risk mitigation strategies to the forefront of fire management activities. Mechanical (e.g., shearblading) and manual (e.g., thinning) fuel treatments have become the preferred strategy of many fire managers and agencies. This Joint Fire Science Program funded project seeks to document and quantify mechanical and manual fuel treatment effects on fire behavior. Alaska's Federal and State fire management agencies have identified this 'data gap' as their most important fire science research need and priority. The Nenana Ridge Ruffed Grouse Project Area is 6,000 acres of typical interior Alaska boreal forest located...
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