Influence of patch size and shape on post-fire succession on the Yellowstone plateau [abstract]
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Monica G. Turner; William H. Romme; Robert H. Gardner; William W. Hargrove
Publication Year: 1994

Cataloging Information

  • catastrophic fires
  • crown fires
  • fire management
  • forbs
  • forest management
  • grasses
  • herbaceous vegetation
  • Idaho
  • Montana
  • pine forests
  • Pinus contorta
  • population density
  • post fire recovery
  • regeneration
  • resprouting
  • seedlings
  • shrubs
  • succession
  • understory vegetation
  • wildfires
  • Wyoming
  • Yellowstone National Park
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: March 18, 2021
FRAMES Record Number: 35935
Tall Timbers Record Number: 10265
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Journals-B
TTRS Abstract Status: Fair use, Okay, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


The 1988 Yellowstone fires provided a unique opportunity to examine how the geometry of fire created patches affects plant reestablishment. We initiated studies in 1990 in small (1 ha), moderate (74-200 ha), and large (480-3968 ha) crown-fire patches in each of 3 areas. Lodgepole pine forest is reestablishing in most burned areas, but seedling density varies by two orders of magnitude. At spatial scales <100 m, lodgepole seedling density declines with the distance from the patch edge. Resprouting of herbaceous vegetation led to prompt revegetation in burned patches of all sizes, suggesting within-patch survival is a dominant recovery mechanism for grasses, forbs, and shrubs. Some annuals (e.g, Gayophytum diffusum) achieved greater densities in large vs. small crown-fire patches and colonized large patches more rapidly. Post-fire plant reestablishment in Yellowstone appears rapid and autogenic even in large burns, and the relative importance of factors controlling early postfire succession varies with spatial scale. [Abstract only.] © by the Ecological Society of America. Abstracts reproduced by permission.

Turner, M. G., W. H. Romme, R. H. Gardner, and W. W. Hargrove. 1994. Influence of patch size and shape on post-fire succession on the Yellowstone plateau [abstract]. Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America, v. 75, no. 2 (Suppl.), p. 233.