Effects of an intense prescribed forest fire: is it ecological restoration?
The authors utilized an escaped high-severity prescribed fire in Grand Canyon National Park to assess the effects of post-fire structure and composition on a ponderosa/mixed-conifer forest stand and determine if more intense prescribed fire has restoration benefits.
Despite issues with pseudoreplication and the limited sample size, the authors found that post-fire conditions moved toward range of natural variation conditions after intense burning. Small trees and fire-susceptible understory trees were preferentially killed by fire and forest floor woody debris was within desired conditions. The sites had adequate regeneration of seedlings with no evidence of any landscape conversion to a non-forest vegetation type.