Event Title

Aspen reproduction following fire in central Arizona: Surprises and challenges

Presenter Information

Mary Lou Fairweather

Location

USU Eccles Conference Center

Event Website

www.restoringthewest.org

Abstract

Due to widespread increase in wildfire, previously established permanent plots allow unexpected post-fire observations. Aspen within the surveyed area of the 2010 Schultz Fire sprouted abundantly following fire. Regeneration density averaged >24,700 stems/hectare in 2012. Aspen density varied widely across the area due in part to ungulate browse impacts, but was also likely influenced by pre-fire aspen and conifer densities. Aspen stem density and heights increased for the first time since the plots were established in 2003. Although aspen along the Waterline Road are abundant and growing taller than they were in 2003, the majority of plots suffered heavy ungulate browse, exceeding 65% of stems browsed. An abundant crop of aspen seedlings occurred in 2011. Although we observed survival of seedlings in 2012, they became difficult to distinguish from sprouts without excavation. Although this study is based on a limited, serendipitous, plot network, the implications of seedling production and survival are important, especially in light of climate change.

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Oct 16th, 3:00 PM Oct 16th, 3:30 PM

Aspen reproduction following fire in central Arizona: Surprises and challenges

USU Eccles Conference Center

Due to widespread increase in wildfire, previously established permanent plots allow unexpected post-fire observations. Aspen within the surveyed area of the 2010 Schultz Fire sprouted abundantly following fire. Regeneration density averaged >24,700 stems/hectare in 2012. Aspen density varied widely across the area due in part to ungulate browse impacts, but was also likely influenced by pre-fire aspen and conifer densities. Aspen stem density and heights increased for the first time since the plots were established in 2003. Although aspen along the Waterline Road are abundant and growing taller than they were in 2003, the majority of plots suffered heavy ungulate browse, exceeding 65% of stems browsed. An abundant crop of aspen seedlings occurred in 2011. Although we observed survival of seedlings in 2012, they became difficult to distinguish from sprouts without excavation. Although this study is based on a limited, serendipitous, plot network, the implications of seedling production and survival are important, especially in light of climate change.

https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/rtw/2013/October16/3