Skip to Main Content
What drives ponderosa pine regeneration following wildfire in the western United States?Author(s): Julie E. Korb; Paula J. Fornwalt; Camille S. Stevens-Rumann
Source: Forest Ecology and Management. 454: 117663.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
Download Publication (3.0 MB)
DescriptionPonderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Lawson & C. Lawson) is a prominent tree species in forests of the western United States. Wildfire activity in ponderosa pine dominated or co-dominated forests has increased dramatically in recent decades, with these recent wildfires often burning in an uncharacteristic manner due to past land management activities and changing climate. The structure and function of vegetative communities that develop following recent wildfires are highly contingent on ponderosa pine regeneration, making it important that the factors influencing this regeneration be thoroughly understood. In this evidence-based review, we qualitatively synthesized publications that examined how the post-fire abundance of ponderosa pine regeneration was related to such factors. We identified 33 relevant publications, from which we synthesized relationships for 21 factors. Numerous publications indicated that distance to seed source (e.g., distance to nearest live overstory tree or group of trees) was a factor that clearly affected post-fire ponderosa pine regeneration abundance; with few exceptions, these publications demonstrated that as distance to seed source increased, the amount of regeneration decreased. Climatic stress (e.g., Palmer Drought Severity Index, actual evapotranspiration, climatic moisture deficit) and elevation also emerged as well-studied factors with a clear relationship to post-fire regeneration abundance. Specifically, areas with lower climatic stress and/or at higher elevations generally harbored more regeneration than areas with higher climatic stress and/or at lower elevations; together, these factors highlight that cooler, moister environments enhance regeneration. The other 18 factors were either well studied but did not have consistent relationships with regeneration abundance, or were not well studied, highlighting research areas that could benefit from further attention. Overall, the strong influence of distance to seed source, climatic stress, and elevation on post-fire ponderosa pine regeneration abundance has important implications for post-fire vegetative recovery and management, particularly in light of recent and predicted changes in wildfire activity and climate.
- You may send email to email@example.com 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.
CitationKorb, Julie E.; Fornwalt, Paula J.; Stevens-Rumann, Camille S. 2019. What drives ponderosa pine regeneration following wildfire in the western United States? Forest Ecology and Management. 454: 117663.
Keywordsclimatic stress, elevation, Pinus ponderosa Lawson & C. Lawson, regeneration, distance to seed source, wildfire
- Spatial patterns of ponderosa pine regeneration in high-severity burn patches
- Historical and contemporary lessons from ponderosa pine genetic studies at the Fort Valley Experimental Forest, Arizona (P-53)
- Historical and contemporary lessons from ponderosa pine genetic studies at the Fort Valley Experimental Forest, Arizona
XML: View XML