Spatial Patterns of Ponderosa Pine Regeneration in High-Severity Burn Patches

Fact Sheet - Spatial Patterns of Ponderosa Pine Regeneration


Over the past three decades, wildfires in southwestern U.S. ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forests have in- creased in size and severity, leaving large, contiguous patches of tree mortality. Ponderosa pines evolved un- der fire regimes dominated by low- to moderate- severity wildfires. They are poorly adapted to regenerate in large patches of high-severity fire because they are not a sprouting species and do not have serotinous cones or long-lived soil seedbanks. Consequently, the lack of seed-producing trees in high-severity burn patches may prevent or significantly delay ponderosa pine regeneration. Previous studies have documented low ponderosa pine regeneration densities in large high- severity burn patches, but less is known about the spa- tial patterns of ponderosa pine regeneration and interactions with sprouting species near residual live forest edges or the interiors of high-severity burn patches. 

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