Bigtooth maple (Acer grandidentatum) is a common component of mountain shrub communities throughout Utah and is sometimes an abundant component in northern Utah. It typically grows with Gambel oak (Quercus gambelii), either as a co-dominant, or sometimes replacing Gambel oak on mesic sites. Historically, the oak/maple cover type is believed to have had relatively short fire-free intervals (perhaps no longer than 30-80 years and sometimes shorter). Today it is often the dominant vegetation type in wildland urban interface zones of northern and central Utah. There has been some perception that bigtooth maple is a poor sprouter following fire. However, we have observed prolific post-fire sprouting for bigtooth maple in northern Utah. This case study was conducted to quantify our observations. Study sites were associated with two prescribed fires and one wildfire in the Wasatch Mountains of Wasatch County, Utah. Pre and post-burn bigtooth maple sprouts were counted in 10 to 19, 0.004-ha (0.01-acre) plots per site. Post-burn sprout numbers and survival on all sites support the conclusion that bigtooth maple recovers from fire by vegetative regeneration from root and crown sprouting and is thus well adapted to relatively high frequency fire regimes. These findings should facilitate management of landscapes where bigtooth maple is a significant component.
Corbin, Beth L. and Page, Douglas H.
"Post-burn Resprouting in Bigtooth Maple (Acer grandidentatum): A Case Study,"
Natural Resources and Environmental Issues:
Vol. 16, Article 26.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/nrei/vol16/iss1/26