Title: Patch structure, fire-scar formation, and tree regeneration in a large mixed-severity fire in the South Dakota Black Hills, USA
Author: Lentile, Leigh B.; Smith, Frederick W.; Shepperd, Wayne D.;
Source: Canadian journal of forest research. 35(12): 2875-2885
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
Description: We compared patch structure, fire-scar formation, and seedling regeneration in patches of low, moderate, and high burn severity following the large (~34 000 ha) Jasper fire of 2000 that occurred in ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Dougl. ex P. & C. Laws.) forests of the Black Hills of South Dakota, USA. This fire created a patchy mosaic of effects, where 25% of the landscape burned as low, 48% as moderate, and 27% as high severity. Dead cambium on a significant portion of tree circumference in a tree with live cambium and a vigorous crown was taken as evidence of incipient fire-scar formation. Tree mortality was approximately 21%, 52%, and 100% in areas of low, moderate, and high burn severity, respectively. Dead cambium was detected on approximately 24% and 44% of surviving trees in low and moderate burn severity patches, respectively. Three years postfire, regeneration densities were ~612 and 450 seedlings·ha–1 in low and moderate burn severity patches, respectively, and no regeneration was observed in the interior of high burn severity patches. Fire-scars will be found on 73% of the area burned in this fire, and large patches of multicohort forest will be created. Mixed-severity fire may have been common historically in the Black Hills, and in conjunction with frequent surface fire, played an important role in shaping a spatially heterogeneous, multicohort ponderosa pine forest.
Keywords: Pinus ponderosa, fires, scars, regeneration, fragmentation, Black Hills, South Dakota
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Lentile, Leigh B.; Smith, Frederick W.; Shepperd, Wayne D. 2005. Patch structure, fire-scar formation, and tree regeneration in a large mixed-severity fire in the South Dakota Black Hills, USA. Canadian journal of forest research. 35(12): 2875-2885
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