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Project ID: 17-2-01-11

Year: 2017

Date Started: 09/01/2017

Ending Date:  09/30/2019

Title: Assessing post-wildfire confer regeneration: Validation of a non-destructive seedling aging method

Project Proposal Abstract: In forested ecosystems of the western U.S. the timing and growth of conifer regeneration following wildfire is a critical component of tracking and predicting future ecosystem trajectories. For both managers and researchers determining the age, and therefore establishment date, of tree seedlings after fire offers important insight into the resilience of an ecosystem. The terminal bud scar count method is a non-destructive seedling aging method that can be easily implemented in the field; however, factors such as seedling species and age have been shown to negatively impact the accuracy of aging with this method. Three widespread western U.S. conifer species (black spruce [Picea mariana], ponderosa pine [Pinus ponderosa], and grand fir [Abies grandis]) will be evaluated for accuracy and magnitude of error associated with aging by terminal bud scar counts as compared to aging by growth ring counts. These results will give both managers and researchers more confidence in the inferences they can make with seedling age data and will be provided to managers in Alaska and the Northern Rockies via an in-person workshop in the Malheur National Forest (where one of our sample sites is located), via a webinar on one or both applicable Fire Science Networks, and via a field guide publication containing accuracy estimates as well as guidelines for accurately using the terminal bud scar count method. Additionally a methods paper will be published in a refereed journal. The research proposed in this grant would leverage current funding for my dissertation work (JFSP grant 14-1-02) by expanding my dissertation to provide in-depth validation of methodology used to age black spruce, ponderosa pine, and grand fir seedlings as well as produce a direct product for managers in the region.

Principal Investigator: Eva K. Strand

Agency/Organization: University of Idaho

Branch or Dept: College of Natural Resources

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Agreements Contact

Suzanne E. Aaron

University of Idaho

Office of Sponsored Programs

Budget Contact

Suzanne E. Aaron

University of Idaho

Office of Sponsored Programs

Student Investigator

Darcy H. Hammond

University of Idaho

College of Natural Resources

Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network


Northern Rockies

Southern Rockies






Interior West


Project Deliverables

There is no final report available for this project.
There are no deliverables available for this project.

Supporting Documents

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