Event Title

Grand Climate-adaptation Experiments, Intended or Not, in Post-fire Restoration

Presenter Information

Matthew J. Germino

Location

USU Eccles Conference Center

Abstract

The reassembly of perennial plant communities after a disturbance such as wild fire is a key juncture when climate impacts can quickly become evident. Management responses to fire are thus one of the most important opportunities for adapting both management approaches and plant communities to climate shifts. A large number of post-fire rehabilitation seedings done over hundreds of thousands of acres across the Western US reveal – somewhat unsurprisingly – that climate and weather are pivotal factors affecting establishment of desired perennial species, and, thus restoration success. For example, several published or preliminary studies on past efforts to reestablish big sagebrush after fire show that manager’s decisions on seed source impact restoration success and weather responses of resulting sagebrush. The findings provide key insights on the importance of intraspecific diversity in dominant restoration species, and the challenges and opportunities the diversity present for both policy and practice in wild fire responses.

Comments

Matt Germino has served as a Supervisory Research Ecologist with the US Geological Survey’s Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center in Boise Idaho since 2011. His research focuses on understanding the physical and biological elements of resistant and resilient landscapes in the western US, using a variety of approaches in soil, plant, and physiological ecology. He also serves on special assignment as a scientist for the Great Basin Landscape Conservation Cooperative. Prior to joining the USGS, he was a Professor of Biology at Idaho State University, Pocatello.

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Oct 18th, 1:40 PM Oct 18th, 2:10 PM

Grand Climate-adaptation Experiments, Intended or Not, in Post-fire Restoration

USU Eccles Conference Center

The reassembly of perennial plant communities after a disturbance such as wild fire is a key juncture when climate impacts can quickly become evident. Management responses to fire are thus one of the most important opportunities for adapting both management approaches and plant communities to climate shifts. A large number of post-fire rehabilitation seedings done over hundreds of thousands of acres across the Western US reveal – somewhat unsurprisingly – that climate and weather are pivotal factors affecting establishment of desired perennial species, and, thus restoration success. For example, several published or preliminary studies on past efforts to reestablish big sagebrush after fire show that manager’s decisions on seed source impact restoration success and weather responses of resulting sagebrush. The findings provide key insights on the importance of intraspecific diversity in dominant restoration species, and the challenges and opportunities the diversity present for both policy and practice in wild fire responses.