Using early post-fire dynamics to improve predictions of forest recovery
Principal Investigator: Derek Young, Ph.D
Project Partners: Andrew Latimer (UC Davis), Nina Venuti (UC Davis), Gabrielle Bohlman (USFS), Hugh Safford (UC Davis), and David Greene (Cal Poly Humboldt)
Institution: University of California, Davis
Project Type: General
Grant Award # 8GG20809
Amount awarded: $497,833
Award Date: March, 2021
Despite the critical importance of post-fire forest regeneration predictions, existing models of early (~ 5 years post-fire) regeneration have low confidence, especially for the historically dominant pines, and longer-term trajectories are even less well understood. Emerging evidence suggests that initial (1-2 year post-fire) dynamics, including delayed tree mortality, "facultative serotiny" (aerial seed banking), and fire injury, may explain a considerable fraction of post-fire regeneration variation, despite the fact that they are almost completely missed by traditional (5+ years post-fire) studies. We are taking advantage of the rare research opportunity afforded by the 2020 and 2021 California wildfires, which burned unprecedented forest extent across broad environmental and reproductive phenology gradients, to quantify the importance of early post-fire dynamics using coupled ground- and drone-based surveys. We have conducted first-year post-fire surveys of fires that burned in 2020 and 2021. We will perform revisit surveys in these permanent plots through year 5 to capture delayed effects and to relate initial dynamics to early recovery. We will use our results to refine important regeneration prediction management tools.
No publications at this time.
For more information on this project please visit:
The project website: https://changingforests.com/current-research/early-regen/
Derek Young (PI)
CAL FIRE Forest Health Research Program