Metrics for seeding success revealed from intensive monitoring of the 2015 Soda megafire

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Matthew J Germino, Cara Applestein, Matt Fisk

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Seeding of burned sagebrush steppe rangelands in the western US is among the largest restoration efforts underway globally, but success in successfully regenerating desired perennials has been mixed. Monitoring of the large areas burned and treated has been sparse. Here we show considerable insights from the first intensive measurement of megafire that received extensive seedings, plantings, and other restoration efforts such as herbicide applications and rest from grazing – all applied in an adaptive management framework. Up to 2000 management monitoring plots and >500 additional research plots were monitored annually for 5 years over 113,00 ha following the 2015 Soda Wildfire, using a newly developed monitoring approach that enabled sampling many sites in a short time period. The intensive monitoring revealed more establishment than has typically been reported in previous studies, and the fine grain of the monitoring revealed critical heterogeneity in seeding outcomes. Adequate monitoring and consideration of these “hot spots” in time or space for plant recovery in devising metrics for seeding success may lead to different perspectives on the outcomes of restoration seedings.

Resource Type:
Conference Presentation, SER2021

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