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Patterns of lodgepole pine regeneration following the 1988 Yellowstone fires

Author(s): Ralph D. Nyland
Year Published: 1998

In 1988, fires killed extensive lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta Dougl. ex. Loud) in Yellowstone National Park. This species bears both serotinous and non-serotinous cones, with the former most common in fire-origin stands of an even-aged character. Reconnaissance of burned stands indicated that former even-aged communities regenerated effectively. Others did not. The larger and more uniformly-sized seedling under formerly even-aged communities suggests primarily a single wave of regeneration there. Seedlings appeared to initiate to some degree over multiple years under other stands, but not sufficiently to make them well stocked. Four different regeneration pathways seem to characterize the natural reforestation of lodgepole pine following the 1988 fires. These include: (1) a dense, uniformly distributed cohort that will develop as a single-storied stand; (2) lodgepole pine islands that form over long periods around isolated seedlings; (3) a moderate to low density cohort that will gradually fill with multiple age classes over a protracted period; and (4) a cohort of only widely scattered single seedlings that initially form as small nearby tree islands, and may eventually converge into a more continuous stand with multiple age classes.

Citation: Nyland, Ralph D. 1998. Patterns of lodgepole pine regeneration following the 1988 Yellowstone fires. Forest Ecology and Management. 111(1): 23-33.
Topic(s): Fire Ecology, Resilience, Fire Effects, Ecological - Second Order, Vegetation, Recovery after fire
Ecosystem(s): Subalpine wet spruce-fir forest, Subalpine dry spruce-fir forest, Montane wet mixed-conifer forest, Montane dry mixed-conifer forest
Document Type: Book or Chapter or Journal Article
NRFSN number: 8276
FRAMES RCS number: 10410
Record updated: May 24, 2018