Patterns of conifer regeneration following high severity wildfire in ponderosa pine-dominated forests

>> Webinar recording

This webinar presented by Marin Chambers, Colorado Forest Restoration Institute, Colorado State University was hosted by the Southwest Fire Science Consortium.
The webinar focuses on a study that measured post-fire regenerating conifers in eleven 10+ year-old fires across Colorado, Wyoming, and South Dakota to characterize regeneration in severely burned patches, and how regeneration characteristics are governed by abiotic and biotic factors. Results from the Colorado Front Range indicate that conifers have regenerated in severely burned areas, but at low densities (~100 stems ha-1). This contrasts with conifer regeneration in unburned and lightly to moderately burned areas, which was more than four times greater. Colorado results also illustrate that as distance from live trees increased, conifer regeneration decreased; transects averaged ~170 stems ha-1 25 m from the live forest edge and ~10 stems ha-1 250 m from the edge. Preliminary analyses from Wyoming and South Dakota indicate similar conifer regeneration densities in high severity burn areas in comparison to lightly to moderately burned and unburned areas. Additionally, as distance from living trees increased, post-fire conifer regeneration density sharply decreased, suggesting that it will likely be compromised in the interiors of large severely burned patches across the region.