Snowpack-vegetation dynamics: mountain hemlocks in the Lake Tahoe area

TitleSnowpack-vegetation dynamics: mountain hemlocks in the Lake Tahoe area
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference1988
AuthorsNachlinger, J. L., and Berg N. H.
Conference Name56th Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 56th Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedApril 1988
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationKalispell, Montana
KeywordsMountain hemlock, Snow accumulation, Snow duration, Species composition, Stand size structure, Subalpine vegetation, Tsuga mertensiana

Snow patterns within mountain hemlock (Tsuga mertensiana) stands were compared to those within other adjacent subalpine vegetation types in the Lake Tahoe area. We found that more snow accumulated in mountain hemlock stands than in shrub stands. Snow cover lasted longer in the mountain hemlock stands than within the other vegetation types. Avalanche activity, elevation, slope inclination, and site moisture all snow related parameters were important in determining stand size structure. Snow, site moisture, and parent rock material were important factors in determining species composition in hemlock forests. Mountain hemlock stands with relatively moderate snow accumulation potential had the greatest species richness.