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Project ID: 17-2-01-4

Year: 2017

Date Started: 06/01/2017

Ending Date:  05/31/2019

Title: Modeling the Influence of Climate and Local Site Factors on Post-Fire Regeneration in the S. Rky Mts

Project Proposal Abstract: Over the last several decades, the area burned in large wildfires within the western United States has steadily increased, and anthropogenic climate change is now recognized as a key factor influencing these trends. Drought and warmer conditions increase the area burned, but can also impair forest recovery following disturbance. Through collaboration and previous data collection, we have acquired a spatially extensive dataset consisting of 819 field plots across 16 wildfires within the Southern Rocky Mountains Ecoregion (SRME; Colorado, northern New Mexico, southern Wyoming). While regeneration has been limited in many sites within these fires, there is high spatial and temporal variability. Funding from the Joint Fire Science Program would facilitate the establishment of an additional 200-300 field plots in northern New Mexico, increasing sampling intensity, and allowing for a comprehensive regional analysis of the factors that influence post-fire succession in montane forests of the SRME. We will use these newly collected data to complete the following objectives: 1) Survey post-fire conifer establishment and densities of re-sprouting species in 5-8 fires, focusing primarily on forests dominated by ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa var. scopulorum (Engelm.)), Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca (Mayr) Franco), and/or Gambel oak (Quercus gambelii Nutt). 2) Determine the relative importance of topography, climate, interspecific interactions, fire severity, and forest structure in influencing conifer establishment and re-sprouting densities across post-fire landscapes in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico, USA. 3) Develop a further understanding of the relationship between climate and conifer establishment following wildfire. The treatment of post-fire landscapes is an increasingly important task for many land managers in the region, and our results will provide concrete and tangible information that can be utilized by managers when planning artificial regeneration projects and other post-fire management activities.

Principal Investigator: Thomas T. Veblen

Agency/Organization: University of Colorado-Boulder

Branch or Dept: Department of Geography

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Agreements Contact

Ron E. Matteson

University of Colorado-Boulder

Office of Contracts and Grants

Budget Contact

Katherine E. Vogel

University of Colorado-Boulder

Office of Contracts and Grants

Student Investigator

Kyle C. Rodman

University of Colorado-Boulder

Department of Geography

Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network

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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