Botanists – 16

The Botanists at Crater Lake National Park by Elizabeth L. Horn

Kalmiopsis Volume 12, 2005 31


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The Role of Fire: Donald Zobel, Robert McNeil, Robert Zigler


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Zobel of Oregon State University looked at vegetation patterns during the mid-1970s, documenting fire history as background for initiating a prescribed fire program. He focused work on the southeast corner of the Park known as the panhandle. Graduate student Robert McNeil examined vegetation patterns and fire history of an Abies concolor-Pinus ponderosa forest inside the southern boundary of the Park. Zobel and McNeil correlated the vegetation with fire frequency, noting that the occurrence of a widespread fire appeared to reduce the size and intensity of fires occurring in the same area for the next ten years. They also noted changes in forest composition that may have resulted from the exclusion of fire (McNeil and Zobel 1980). Another graduate student Robert Zigler did similar studies on Pinus contorta forests within the Park (D. Zobel, pers. comm.).