Environmental Studies Program


Date of this Version

Fall 12-2009


AN UNDERGRADUATE THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Environmental Studies Program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Bachelor of Agricultural Science and Natural Resources, Major: Environmental Studies
With the Emphasis of: Natural Resources. Lincoln, NE: 2009


Wildfires are a natural part of many forest ecosystems and play a vital role in maintaining their health. Wildfires can have a critical influence on a landscapes plant community through their relative frequency, seasonality, and severity. One of the most heavily influenced regions by wildfire disturbance is the Klamath Mountain region of California. I looked at the affect a wildfires severity had on the Whiskey creek valley within the Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. 8 tree species and 4 flower species were examined on both the burned and unburned regions within this valley nearly a year after the wildfire (May 17-23 2009) was completed. I saw differences in the vegetation diversity, density, and ground cover on both sides of the Whiskey creek valley. The California Live Oak was the most dominant species found throughout the unburned region, but was not present on the burned region. The most abundant species throughout burned region was the Scrub Oak, which only appeared after the wildfire and was not present in the unburned area. I noticed that from changes in tree species diversity and major alterations in ground cover between both regions there was a shift to an earlier successionary period.