Woody debris and tree regeneration dynamics following severe wildfires in Arizona ponderosa pine forests
Abstract:Severe forest fires worldwide leave behind large quantities of dead woody debris and regenerating trees that can affect future ecosystem trajectories. We studied a chronosequence of severe fires in Arizona, USA, spanning 1 to 18 years after burning to investigate postfire woody debris and regeneration dynamics. Snag densities varied over time, with predominantly recent snags in recent fires and broken or fallen snags in older fires. Coarse woody debris peaked at > 60 Mg/ha in the time period 6–12 years after fire, a value higher than previously reported in postfire fuel assessments in this region. However, debris loadings on fires older than 12 years were within the range of recommended management values (11.2–44.8 Mg/ha). Overstory and regeneration were most commonly dominated by sprouting deciduous species. Ponderosa pine (
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Ecological Restoration Institute, Northern Arizona University, P.O. Box 15017, Flagstaff, AZ 86011, USA. 2: School of Forestry, Northern Arizona University, P.O. Box 15018, Flagstaff, AZ 86011, USA.
Publication date: March 15, 2012
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