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RMRS-RN-42: Six-year post-fire mortality and health of relict ponderosa pines in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area, Montana


Leirfallom, Signe B.; Keane, Robert E. 2011. Six-year post-fire mortality and health of relict ponderosa pines in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area, Montana. Res. Note RMRS-RN-42. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 5 p.

In 2003, lightning-caused fires burned through relict ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) stands in the Bob Marshall Wilderness, Montana, after decades of fire exclusion. Since many trees in these stands had Native American bark-peeling scars, concern arose about the adverse fire effects on this cultural and ecological resource. In 2004, Keane and others (2006) began a post-fire monitoring study of the relict pine stands. In 2009, we completed a six year re-measurement of those stands. We found that many of the pines with major fire injury had recovered, and tree mortality was not as high as initially estimated. A low-intensity surface fire, prescribed or lightning-caused, within the next 10 years will help preserve the health of these stands in the future.

Keywords: Bob Marshall Wilderness, wilderness prescribed fire, bark-peeled trees, post-fire mortality, Pinus ponderosa


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Title: RMRS-RN-42: Six-year post-fire mortality and health of relict ponderosa pines in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area, Montana
Electronic Publish Date: January 30, 2010
Last Update:
January 30, 2010

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