Post-fire Regeneration Response

Post-fire regeneration response and long-term outlook following recent fires in the Upper Peninsula, MI

The Duck Lake fire of 2012 was the third-largest wildfire in Michigan state history, burning over 21,000 acres, mostly on public forestland but also on The Forestland Group LLC’s (TFG’s) Bishop Property. Post-fire regeneration is an increasingly important issue facing land managers, particularly as fire size and frequency increase in response to climate change. The interactions of fire, particularly high severity fire, with climate change may result in less regeneration or a different species composition than desired.

Dr. Kristen Waring from Northern Arizona University’s School of Forestry, along with Investigators from Michigan Technological University’s (MTU) School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, and with support from TFG staff, has embarked on a study to assess the status and extent of regeneration in the burned areas.

During the summer of 2013, Dr. Waring and TFG intern and MTU student Erik Romstad installed 69 randomly located plots across varying fire severities in jack pine to assess the initial forest response. Dr. Waring will be analyzing initial forest response by fire severity, using composite burn index to validate remote sensing fire severity. The Forest Vegetation Simulator (http://www.fs.fed.us/fmsc/fvs/) will be used to assess future forest productivity.

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TFG intern and MTU Forestry student Erik Romstad laying out a plot in the Duck Lake Fire area, Bishop Property, Michigan.

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Project Investigators survey the Duck Lake Fire area, Bishop Property, Michigan.