Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service
  
Treesearch

Research & Development Treesearch

 
Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Northern
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help
 

Science.gov - We Participate


USA.gov  Government Made Easy


Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.
20090-6090

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (728 KB)

Title: Vegetation response to burn severity, native grass seeding, and salvage logging

Author: Morgan, Penelope; Moy, Marshell; Droske, Christine A.; Lewis, Sarah A.; Lentile, Leigh B.; Robichaud, Peter R.; Hudak, Andrew T.; Williams, Christopher J.;

Date: 2015

Source: Fire Ecology. 11(2): 31-58.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: As the size and extent of wildfires has increased in recent decades, so has the cost and extent of post-fire management, including seeding and salvage logging. However, we know little about how burn severity, salvage logging, and post-fire seeding interact to influence vegetation recovery long- term. We sampled understory plant species richness, diversity, and canopy cover one to six years post fire (2006 to 2009, and 2011) on 72 permanent plots selected in a stratified random sample to define post-fire vegetation response to burn severity, post-fire seeding with native grasses, and salvage logging on the 2005 School Fire in eastern Washington. Understory vegetation responded rapidly post fire due, in part, to ample low intensity rainfall events in the first post-fire growing season. Vegetation was more diverse with greater plant species richness and diversity (Shannon-Wiener index) in low and moderate burn severity plots in 2006 (species richness 18; diversity 2.3) compared to high burn severity plots (species richness 10; diversity 1.8), with species richness on the high severity plots reaching 19 in the sixth post-fire year, similar to the initial values on the low and moderate burn severity plots. Plants that commonly resprout from rhizomes, bulbs, and other surviving belowground sources were abundant post fire, while those establishing from off-site seed sources, including non-native species, were present but not abundant. Plots seeded with native grass post fire and not salvage logged had the highest canopy cover of graminoid species: more than 30 % six years after the fire (in 2011), with low forb (15 %) and shrub (1 %) canopy cover and species richness. For comparison, high severity plots that were not seeded and not salvage logged had 3 % graminoid cover, 14 % forb cover, and 26 % shrub cover. Plots that had been salvage logged from one to three years after the fire produced less canopy cover of shrubs and forbs, but three times more canopy cover of graminoids on the high burn severity plots by 2011. High severity plots that were salvage logged and not seeded with native grasses had the lowest species richness, diversity, and cover. Very few non-native species were found, regardless of salvage logging and seeding. Rapid post-fire growth dominated by native plants of high diversity suggests that this forest’s vegetation and soils are highly resilient to disturbance. Overall, burn severity and post-fire seeding with native grasses were more influential than salvage logging on understory plant abundance one to six years after fire.

Keywords: fire effects, mixed conifer forests, plant succession, post-fire rehabilitation, salvage logging

Publication Notes:

  • 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.

XML: View XML

Citation:


Morgan, Penelope; Moy, Marshell; Droske, Christine A.; Lewis, Sarah A.; Lentile, Leigh B.; Robichaud, Peter R.; Hudak, Andrew T.; Williams, Christopher J. 2015. Vegetation response to burn severity, native grass seeding, and salvage logging. Fire Ecology. 11(2): 31-58.

 


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.