Modeling high-severity fire, drought and climate change impacts on ponderosa pine regeneration
The authors modeled the effects of drought on ponderosa pine regeneration in high-severity fire areas using a water balance methodology that assess thermal and moisture conditions at the project sites. They validated their model at five regenerating ponderosa pine stands in the Southwest that burned at high-severity during the drought years 1945 to 1956.
A previous study by Savage et al. (1996) found that moisture conditions during the year of germination highly influence ponderosa pine regeneration. This article builds on this prior research to find that sites burned at high severity fire may have reduced microclimatic water availability and extreme temperature conditions of the soil thereby limiting seedling regeneration and establishment.