Form Submission: Participation Entry

Abstract: 
Fires have long lasting effects on forest dynamics that shape forest composition and structure. In Yellow Pine and Mixed-Conifer Forests in the western US, increasing fire severity due to past fire exclusion management and climate change has caused a decrease in conifer regeneration. While previous studies have identified postfire shrub density and distance to seed trees as two key drivers, few studies have compared the influence of shrubs and seed trees across a gradient of fire severity levels. We surveyed 132 plots, six years following the Rim Fire, the largest fire ever recorded in the Sierra Nevada region. Out of six fire severity levels, regeneration was highest in moderate severity patches. Shrub coverage and distance to seed trees peak in high severity patches, and they are negatively correlated with conifer regeneration. These results provide guidance for land managers to increase forest resilience to the impacts of future fire regimes.