Soil Moisture and vegetation cover patterns after logging and burning an old-growth Douglas-fir forest in the Andrews Experimental Forest, 1960-1983

  • Creator(s): Alfred B. Levno, Jack S. Rothacher
  • PI(s): Alfred B. Levno
  • Originator(s): Jack S. Rothacher
  • Other researcher(s): Paul W. Adams, Alan L. Flint
  • Dates of data collection: Apr 18 1960 - Nov 21 1983
  • Data collection status: Study collection is completed and no new collection is planned
  • Data access: Online
  • DOI:
  • Last update: Dec 16 2013 (Version 7)
<Citation>     <Acknowledgement>     <Disclaimer>    
Levno, A.; Rothacher, J. 2013. Soil Moisture and vegetation cover patterns after logging and burning an old-growth Douglas-fir forest in the Andrews Experimental Forest, 1960-1983. Long-Term Ecological Research. Forest Science Data Bank, Corvallis, OR. [Database]. Available: Accessed 2023-12-11.
Data were provided by the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest research program, funded by the National Science Foundation's Long-Term Ecological Research Program (DEB 2025755), US Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station, and Oregon State University.
While substantial efforts are made to ensure the accuracy of data and documentation, complete accuracy of data sets cannot be guaranteed. All data are made available "as is". The Andrews LTER shall not be liable for damages resulting from any use or misinterpretation of data sets.

This soil moisture study was initiated in 1960 to investigate the effects of patch clearcut logging and slash burning (1962-63) in an old-growth Douglas-fir forest in the Oregon Cascade Range. Since soil moisture and vegetation sampling continued regularly until 1980, this is a unique data set that represents nearly two decades of post-treatment information.

Plant cover exerts a profound influence on soil moisture levels through its effects on interception, infiltration, evaporation, and transpiration. In the Douglas-fir forests of the Pacific Northwest, clearcut logging and slash burning are common practices that can dramatically alter plant cover and soil moisture. Logging can increase soil moisture by temporarily reducing cover and associated water use, and burning may further augment soil moisture levels by suppressing the survival and regrowth of vegetation. Indeed, part of the rationale for slash burning in the region is to control shrubs and other vegetation that would otherwise compete with conifer seedlings for available moisture, light, and nutrients. Within a few years after burning, however, invading vegetation may deplete soil moisture to levels comparable to forested areas. Such observations point to the value of long-term information to better understand dynamic soil moisture and plant cover responses to forest practices.

Study Description Taxonomic Hierarchy Download Study Location Information: (CSV)
Ecological Metadata Language: (EML)
1Soil moisture content, 1960 - 1983 METADATADATA
2Soil temperature METADATADATA
A series of raingages under the forest canopy and in the clearcut, as well as other nearby raingages, can be used to estimate throughfall.
4Vegetation cover by species METADATADATA
5Vegetation cover (on microplots) by cover type METADATADATA
6Vegetation cover by cover type METADATADATA

 Adams, Paul W., Flint, Alan L., Fredriksen, Richard L. 1991, Long-term patterns in soil moisture and revegetation after clearcut of a Douglas-fir forest in Oregon (Pub. No: 936)
 Adams, Paul W., Flint, Alan L. 1986, Soil moisture patterns following clearcut harvest of a Douglas-fir forest (Pub. No: 1453)
 Dyrness, C. T. 1973, Early stages of plant succession following logging and burning in the western Cascades of Oregon (Pub. No: 429)
 Dyrness, C. T. 1965, Soil surface condition following tractor and high-lead logging in the Oregon Cascades (Pub. No: 313)