Haffey, C., Sisk, T.D., Allen, C.D., Thode, A.E. & Margolis, E.Q. 2018. Limits to Ponderosa Pine Regeneration following Large High-Severity Forest Fires in the United States Southwest. Fire Ecology 14: 143-163.
High-severity fires in dry conifer forests of the United States Southwest have created large (>1000 ha) treeless areas that are unprecedented in the regional historical record. These fires have reset extensive portions of Southwestern ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Lawson & C. Lawson var. scopulorum Engelm.) forest landscapes. At least two recovery options following high-severity fire are emerging. One option is for post-fire successional pathways to move toward a return to the pre-fire forest type. Alternatively, an area may transition to persistent non-forested ecosystems. We studied regeneration patterns of ponderosa pine following eight fires in Arizona and New Mexico, USA, that burned in dry conifer forests dominated by ponderosa pine during a recent 18-year regional drought period, 1996 to 2013.