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Pecking Order: What Types of Post-Fire Snag Areas Do Woodpeckers Prefer?
This article is from Issue Wildland Fire 2 - Vol. 13 No. 1.
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In this study, scientists wanted to know what types of post-fire snag areas do the black-backed woodpeckers of the Sierra Nevada in California prefer?
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"Science Topics" covered in this article:
"Thinking About Science Themes" covered in this article:
As scientists continue to do research, they learn new things. In the past, for example, scientists believed the best thing to do after a severe wildfire was to cut down and remove most of the snags. Snags are dying or dead trees that are left standing after a fire, flood, wind, disease, or insect damage. More recent research, however, has shown that snags may provide ecological benefits to an area. When science is used to solve a problem or make something better, it is called applied science. In this study, the scientists were doing applied science. This is because their research could be used to help forest managers take better care of the forest after a wildfire occurred.
Specific "Thinking About Science" Themes:"Thinking About Environmental Themes" covered in this article:
Think about your friends at school. They may seem similar to each other, but none of them are alike. This is true, even though they may like the same activities and laugh at the same jokes. Like your friends at school, all wildfires may seem alike, but they can actually be very different. One of the ways that wildfires are different from each other is that they burn at different severity levels. Wildfires are classified as low-, moderate-, or high-severity fires. High-severity fires are where most or all of the trees are killed by the fire (figure 1). Low-severity fires still have trees that are living (figure 2). Because wildfires do not burn evenly, a patch of forest that has experienced a high-severity burn may be almost surrounded by areas that have experienced low or medium severity wildfire.
Specific "Thinking About the Environment" Themes:NSE Standards covered in this article: