Sequentially contingent fires, droughts and pluvials structured a historical dry forest landscape and suggest future contingencies
The authors examined the effects of potential contingent influences of drought, fire, pluvial and/or fire quiescent periods on post-disturbance recruitment and dry forest structure.
The authors found that fire quiescent periods due to higher moisture availability had the greatest influence on regeneration pulses of ponderosa pine historically. However, fire, drought or other mortality inducing events played a role in initiating regeneration pulses by opening up the canopy and reducing competition. Pluvial events did not trigger regeneration pulses, which were always preceded by fire or drought. Pluvial and quiescence periods enhanced recruitment condition and helped sustain 75% of regeneration pulses.