Scientists & Staff
Current ResearchWohlgemuth is a hydrologist who studies postfire erosion and treatment strategies.
In the future, Wohlgemuth — who enjoys working outdoors on real-world problems — will continue to quantify and model postfire sediment changes for planning and risk assessment.
In one study, Wohlgemuth found that prescribed fires reduce the soil erosion from subsequent wildfires, suggesting that prescribed burns may be a sediment management tool in addition to helping to manage vegetation or reduce fuel buildup. Wohlgemuth found that prescribed fires reduced postfire cleanup costs and, perhaps, even the need for expensive soil retention structures.
In a second study, Wohlgemuth discovered that seeding with ryegrass is not an effective postfire erosion control measure, although the grass species has long been a standard erosion control plant in California. Wohlgemuth's field tests revealed that ryegrass replaced, rather than augmented, the cover of postfire native regrowth and was no better at reducing erosion than unseeded controls. His findings helped to steer postfire management response away from seeding as an erosion-control technique.
- American Geophysical Union
- Association for Fire Ecology
Publications & Products
- Wohlgemuth, Peter M.; Lilley, Keith A. 2018. Sediment delivery, flood control, and physical ecosystem services in southern California chaparral landscapes. Valuing chaparral: ecological, socio-economic, and management perspectives. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing: 181-205. Chapter 7.
- Amatya, Devendra; Campbell, John; Wohlgemuth, Pete; Elder, Kelly; Sebestyen, Stephen; Johnson, Sherri; Keppeler, Elizabeth; Adams, Mary Beth; Caldwell, Peter; Misra, D. 2016. Hydrological processes of reference watersheds in Experimental Forests, USA. In: Forest Hydrology: Processes, Management, and Applications, Amatya, Williams, Bren, and de Jong (Editors), CABI Publishers, UK
- Wohlgemuth, Pete. 2016. Long-term hydrologic research on the San Dimas Experimental Forest, southern California: lessons learned and future directions. In: Stringer, Christina E.; Krauss, Ken W.; Latimer, James S., eds. 2016. Headwaters to estuaries: advances in watershed science and management -Proceedings of the Fifth Interagency Conference on Research in the Watersheds. March 2-5, 2015, North Charleston, South Carolina. e-General Technical Report SRS-211. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 302 p.
- Robichaud, Peter R.; Wagenbrenner, Joseph W.; Lewis, Sarah A.; Ashmun, Louise E.; Brown, Robert E.; Wohlgemuth, Peter M. 2013. Post-fire mulching for runoff and erosion mitigation; Part II: Effectiveness in reducing runoff and sediment yields from small catchments. Catena. 105: 93-111.
- Hubbert, Ken R.; Wohlgemuth, Pete M.; Beyers, Jan L.; Narog, Marcia G.; Gerrard, Ross. 2012. Post-Fire soil water repellency, hydrologic response, and sediment yield compared between grass-converted and chaparral watersheds. Fire Ecology. 8(2): 143-162
- Hubbert, Ken R.; Wohlgemuth, Peter M.; Beyers, Jan L. 2012. Effects of hydromulch on post-fire erosion and plant recovery in chaparral shrublands of southern California. International Journal of Wildland Fire. 21: 155-167
- Wohlgemuth, Pete; Beyers, Jan; Robichaud, Pete. 2011. The effectiveness of aerial hydromulch as an erosion control treatment in burned chaparral watersheds. In: Medley, Nicolas; Patterson, Glenn; Parker, Melanie J., eds. 2011. Observing, studying, and managing for change—Proceedings of the Fourth Interagency Conference on Research in the Watersheds. Scientific Investigations Report 2011-5169. Reston, VA: U.S. Geological Survey. pp. 162-167
- Wohlgemuth, P.M.; Beyers, J.L.; Robichaud, P.R. 2010. The Effectiveness of Aerial Hydromulch as a Post-Fire Erosion Control Treatment in Southern California. In: Proceedings of the Joint Federal Interagency Conference, 9th Federal Interagency Sedimentation Conference and 4th Federal Interagency Hydrologic Modeling Conference, June 27-July 1, 2010, Las Vegas, NV.
- Wohlgemuth, P. M.; Beyers, J. L.; Hubbert, K. R. 2009. Rehabilitation strategies after fire: the California, USA experience. In: Cerdá, A.; Robichaud, P. R., eds. Fire effects on soils and restoration strategies. Enfield, NH: Science Publishers. pp. 511-536
- Wohlgemuth, Pete. 2009. San Dimas Experimental Forest, California—a giant outdoor hydrologic lab. In: Wells, G. Experimental Forests and Ranges--100 Years of Research Success Stories. Gen. Tech. Rep. FPL-GTR-182, Madison, WI: Forest Products Laboratory, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture; 20-21.
- Hubbert, K. R.; Wohlgemuth, P. M.; Preisler, H. K. 2008. Pre- and postfire distribution of soil water repellency in a steep chaparral watershed. In: Narog, Marcia G., tech. coord. 2008. Proceedings of the 2002 Fire Conference: Managing fire and fuels in the remaining wildlands and open spaces of the Southwestern United States. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-189. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. p. 99-106
- Robichaud, P. R.; Wagenbrenner, J. W.; Brown, R. E.; Wohlgemuth, P. M.; Beyers, J. L. 2008. Evaluating the effectiveness of contour-felled log erosion barriers as a post-fire runoff and erosion mitigation treatment in the western United States. International Journal of Wildland Fire. 17: 255-273.
- Wohlgemuth, P. M.; Hubbert, K. R. 2008. The effects of fire on soil hydrologic properties and sediment fluxes in chaparral steeplands, southern California. In: Narog, Marcia G., tech. coord. 2008. Proceedings of the 2002 Fire Conference: Managing fire and fuels in the remaining wildlands and open spaces of the Southwestern United States. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-189. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. p. 115-121
- Wohlgemuth, Peter M.; Hubbert, Ken R.; Beyers, Jan L.; Weise, David R. 2007. Evaluating the effectiveness of burned area emergency response (BAER) efforts after the 2003 wildfires, southern California. In: Watershed Management on the Edge: Scarcity, Quality and Distribution, Proceedings of the Watershed Management Council Tenth Biennial Conference, November 15-19, 2004, San Diego, California. University of California Water Resources Center Report No. 109. pp. 129-137
- Wohlgemuth, Peter M.; Robichaud, Peter R. 2007. The effects of selected postfire emergency rehabilitation techniques on small watershed sediment yields in southern California. In: Furniss, M.; Clifton, C.; Ronnenberg, K., eds. 2007. Advancing the fundamental sciences: proceedings of the Forest Service National Earth Sciences Conference. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-689. Portland, OR: U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station: 36-42.
- Hubbert, K.R.; Preisler, H.K.; Wohlgemuth, P.M.; Graham, R.C.; Narog, M.G. 2006. Prescribed burning effects on soil physical properties and soil water repellency in a steep chaparral watershed, southern California, USA. Geoderma 130: p. 284-298
- Meixner, T.; Fenn, Mark E.; Wohlgemuth, P.; Oxford, M.; Riggan, P. 2006. N saturation symptoms in chaparral catchments are not reversed by prescribed fire. Environmental Science and Technology 40(9):2887-2894
- de Koff, Jason P.; Graham, Robert C.; Hubbert, Ken R.; Wohlgemuth, Peter M. 2006. Prefire and postfire erosion of soil nutrients within a chaparral watershed. Soil Science
- Loomis, John; Wohlgemuth, Pete; González-Cabán, Armando; English, Don. 2003. Economic benefits of reducing fire-related sediment in southwestern fire-prone ecosystems. Water Resources Research. 39(9), 1260
- Beyers, Jan; Wakeman, C.D.; Conard, S.G.; Wohlgemuth, Pete. 2002. Impacts of postfire grass seeding on vegetation recovery in southern California chaparral. Association for Fire Ecology Miscellaneous Publication No. 1: 318-323
- Wohlgemuth, Pete; Beyers, Jan; Wakeman, C.D.; Conard, S.G. 2002. Effects of fire and emergency seeding on hillslope erosion in southern California chaparral. Association for Fire Ecology Miscellaneous Publication No. 1: 279-285
- Wohlgemuth, Peter M.; Hubbert, Ken R.; Robichaud, Peter R. 2001. The effects of log erosion barriers on post-fire hydrologic response and sediment yield in small forested watersheds, southern Califonia. Hydrological Processes. 15: 3053-3066.
- Beyers, Jan L.; Wakeman, Carla D.; Wohlgemuth, Peter M.; Conard, Susan G. 1998. Effects of post-fire grass seeding on native vegetation in southern California chaparral. In: Proceedings, Nineteenth Annual Forest Vegetation Management Conference: Wildfire Rehabilitation. Forest Vegetation Management Conference, Redding, CA. pp. 52-64
- Barro, Susan C.; Wohlgemuth, Peter M.; Campbell, Allan G. 1989. Post-Fire Interactions Between Riparian Vegetation and Channel Morphology and the Implications for Stream Channel Rehabilitation Choices. In: Abell, Dana L., Technical Coordinator. 1989. Proceedings of the California Riparian Systems Conference: protection, management, and restoration for the 1990s; 1988 September 22-24; Davis, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-110. Berkeley, CA: Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture; p. 51-53
- Dunn, Paul H.; Barro, Susan C.; Wells, Wade G.; Poth, Mark A; Wohlgemuth, Peter M.; Colver, Charles G. 1988. The San Dimas experimental forest: 50 years of research. General Technical Report PSW-104. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 49 p
- Wells, Wade G.; Wohlgemuth, Peter M. 1987. Sediment traps for measuring onslope surface sediment movement. Res. Note PSW-RN-393. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 6 p