TWO FACES of FOREST DEATH: Heat Causing Fires Preventing Forest Regeneration

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 17 March 2019


Heat Causing Fires Preventing Forest Regeneration

Idaho Complex Fire Aftermath
Forest regeneration failure after Idaho Complex Fire, by Kimberley Davis.
Ponderosa pine and Douglas fir forest burned in the 1994 Idaho City Complex Fire on the Boise National Forest in Idaho, and little regeneration has occurred since. Photo by Kimberley Davis.


UM study suggests climate change limits forest recovery after wildfires,
The University of Montana, March 12, 2019.


Heat Triggering Fires is Suppressing Growth
“...climate change makes it increasingly difficult for tree seedlings to regenerate following wildfires in low-elevation forests, which could contribute to abrupt forest loss.”

Ponderosa Pine & Doug Fir
“...examined the relationship between annual climate and post-fire regeneration of ponderosa pine and Douglas fir in low-elevation forests of western North America.”

Tree Ring Study
“...used tree rings to determine establishment dates of more than 2,800 trees that regenerated after fires in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana and New Mexico between 1988 and 2015. Annual tree regeneration rates were much lower when seasonal climate conditions, including temperature, humidity soil moisture, crossed specific threshold values.”

Fires Rise, Regeneration Declines
“Over the past 20 years, climate conditions have crossed these thresholds at the majority of study sites, leading to abrupt declines in how often annual conditions are suitable for tree regeneration.”

Forest Succession to Destruction
“...high-severity fire may lead to ecosystem transitions from forests to grasslands or shrublands.”

Hard to Measure our Losses
“It is important to understand how climate change and wildfires will affect tree regeneration because forests are important economically, ecologically and culturally.”

“Ponderosa pine and Douglas fir are two of the most dominant tree species in the western U.S., and they are critical for the regional forestry industry.”




In The High Sierra

We have a similar section of burned Ponderosa forest NW of Spicer Meadow Reservoir

Lake Alpine to Spicer Meadow Reservoir

The non-regenerating forest is between North Stanislaus & Rock Lake

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forest regeneration, suppressed, by, global warming, that, triggered, fires


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