Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Brandon M. CollinsGary B. Roller
    Date: 2013
    Source: Landscape Ecology. 28(9): 1801-1813
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (623.55 KB)


    There is considerable concern over the occurrence of stand-replacing fire in forest types historically associated with low- to moderate-severity fire. The concern is largely over whether contemporary levels of stand-replacing fire are outside the historical range of variability, and what natural forest recovery is in these forest types following stand-replacing fire. In this study we quantified shrub characteristics and tree regeneration patterns in stand-replacing patches for five fires in the northern Sierra Nevada. These fires occurred between 1999 and 2008, and our field measurements were conducted in 2010. We analyzed tree regeneration patterns at two scales: patch level, in which field observations and spatial data were aggregated for a given stand replacing patch, and plot level. Although tree regeneration densities varied considerably across sampled fires, over 50 % of the patches and approximately 80 % all plots had no tree regeneration. The percentage of patches, and to a greater extent plots, without pine regeneration was even higher, 72 and 87 %, respectively. Hardwood regeneration was present on a higher proportion of plots than either the pine or nonpine conifer groups. Shrub cover was generally high, with approximately 60 % of both patches and individual plots exceeding 60 % cover. Patch characteristics (size, perimeter-to-area ratio, distance-toedge) appeared to have little effect on observed tree regeneration patterns. Conifer regeneration was higher in areas with post-fire management activities (salvage harvesting, planting). Our results indicate that the natural return of pine/mixed-conifer forests is uncertain in many areas affected by stand-replacing fire.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Collins, Brandon M.; Roller, Gary B. 2013. Early forest dynamics in stand-replacing fire patches in the northern Sierra Nevada, California, USA. Landscape Ecology. 28(9): 1801-1813.


    Google Scholar


    Fire ecology, High severity, Tree regeneration, Mixed-conifer

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page