International Journal of Wildland Fire International Journal of Wildland Fire Society
Journal of the International Association of Wildland Fire
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Recent trends in post-wildfire seeding in western US forests: costs and seed mixes

Donna L. Peppin A , Peter Z. Fulé A B F , Carolyn Hull Sieg C , Jan L. Beyers D , Molly E. Hunter A and Peter R. Robichaud E
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A School of Forestry, Northern Arizona University, PO Box 15081, Flagstaff, AZ 86011, USA.

B PO Box 15081, Flagstaff, AZ 86011, USA.

C USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station – Southwest Forest Science Complex, 2500 South Pine Knoll Drive, Flagstaff, AZ 86001, USA.

D USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Fire Laboratory, 4955 Canyon Crest Drive, Riverside, CA 92507, USA.

E USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Moscow Forestry Sciences Laboratory, 1221 South Main Street, Moscow, ID 83843, USA.

F Corresponding author. Email: pete.fule@nau.edu

International Journal of Wildland Fire 20(5) 702-708 https://doi.org/10.1071/WF10044
Submitted: 22 April 2010  Accepted: 11 November 2010   Published: 8 August 2011

Abstract

Broadcast seeding is one of the most commonly used post-fire rehabilitation treatments to establish ground cover for erosion control and mitigation of non-native plant species invasions. Little quantitative information is available on overall trends of post-fire seeding expenditures and seed mixes used over time in forested ecosystems in the western USA. We reviewed scientific articles, government publications and unpublished documents as well as USDA Forest Service Burned Area Reports to determine trends in post-fire seeding in forested ecosystems over time. Of 1164 USDA Forest Service Burned Area Reports, 380 contained information on seeding treatments conducted in forested ecosystems. A review of 40 papers and 67 Burned Area Reports reporting species seeded between 1970 and 2007 revealed a trend of increasing use of native species, annual cereal grains and sterile-grass hybrids, with natives dominating seed mixes. According to 380 Burned Area Reports with data on costs and area seeded, total post-fire seeding expenditures have increased substantially, averaging US$3.3 million per year spent on post-fire emergency seeding treatments in forested ecosystems that involved the Forest Service during the period 2000 to 2007 – an increase of 192% compared with the average spent during the previous 30 years. The percentage of the total burned area seeded averaged 21% in the 1970s, compared with only 4% between 2000 and 2007.

Additional keywords: annual cereal grains, Burned Area Emergency Response, native plant species.


References

Barclay AD, Betancourt JL, Allen CD (2004) Effects of seeding ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) on vegetation recovery following fire in a ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forest. International Journal of Wildland Fire 13, 183–194.
Effects of seeding ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) on vegetation recovery following fire in a ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forest.CrossRef |

Benavides-Solorio J, MacDonald LH (2001) Post-fire runoff and erosion from simulated rainfall on small plots, Colorado Front Range. Hydrological Processes 15, 2931–2952.
Post-fire runoff and erosion from simulated rainfall on small plots, Colorado Front Range.CrossRef |

Beyers JL (2004) Post-fire seeding for erosion control: effectiveness and impacts on native plant communities. Conservation Biology 18, 947–956.
Post-fire seeding for erosion control: effectiveness and impacts on native plant communities.CrossRef |

Conard SG, Regelbrugge JC, Wills RD (1991) Preliminary effects of ryegrass seeding on post-fire establishment of natural vegetation in two California ecosystems. In ‘Proceedings of the 11th Conference on Fire and Forest Meteorology’, 16–19 April 1991, Missoula, MT. pp. 16–19. (Society of American Foresters: Missoula, MT)

Crawford JA, Wahren CA, Kyle S, Moir WH (2001) Responses of exotic plant species to fires in Pinus ponderosa forest in northern Arizona. Journal of Vegetation Science 12, 261–268.
Responses of exotic plant species to fires in Pinus ponderosa forest in northern Arizona.CrossRef |

Debano LF, Neary DG, Ffolliott PF (1998) ‘Fire’s Effect on Ecosystems.’ (Wiley Press: New York)

Erickson VJ (2008) Developing native plant germplasm for national forests and grasslands in the Pacific Northwest. Native Plants Journal 9, 255–266.
Developing native plant germplasm for national forests and grasslands in the Pacific Northwest.CrossRef |

Federal Reserve Bank (2009) Consumer Price Index. Available at www.minneapolisfed.org/index.cfm [Verified 16 September 2009]

Freeman JP, Stohlgren TJ, Hunter ME, Omi PN, Martinson EJ, Chong GW, Brown CS (2007) Rapid assessment of post-fire plant invasions in coniferous forests of the western United States. Ecological Applications 17, 1656–1665.
Rapid assessment of post-fire plant invasions in coniferous forests of the western United States.CrossRef |

Grime JP (2001) ‘Plant Strategies, Vegetation Processes and Ecosystem Properties.’ (Wiley: Chichester, UK)

Hunter ME, Omi PN, Martinson EJ, Chong GW (2006) Establishment of non-native plant species after wildfires: effects of fuel treatments, abiotic and biotic factors, and post-fire grass seeding treatment. International Journal of Wildland Fire 15, 271–281.
Establishment of non-native plant species after wildfires: effects of fuel treatments, abiotic and biotic factors, and post-fire grass seeding treatment.CrossRef |

Jones TA (2003) The restoration gene pool concept: beyond the native versus non-native debate. Restoration Ecology 11, 281–290.
The restoration gene pool concept: beyond the native versus non-native debate.CrossRef |

Keeley JE (2004) Ecological impacts of wheat seeding after a Sierra Nevada wildfire. International Journal of Wildland Fire 13, 73–78.
Ecological impacts of wheat seeding after a Sierra Nevada wildfire.CrossRef |

Keeley JE, Lubin D, Fotheringham CJ (2003) Fire and grazing impacts on plant diversity and alien plant invasions in the southern Sierra Nevada. Ecological Applications 13, 1355–1374.
Fire and grazing impacts on plant diversity and alien plant invasions in the southern Sierra Nevada.CrossRef |

Kuenzi AM, Fulé PZ, Sieg CH (2008) Effects of fire severity and pre-fire stand treatment on plant community recovery after a large wildfire. Forest Ecology and Management 255, 855–865.
Effects of fire severity and pre-fire stand treatment on plant community recovery after a large wildfire.CrossRef |

Linhart YB (1995) Restoration, revegetation, and the importance of genetic and evolutionary perspectives. In ‘Proceedings of the Wildland Shrub and Arid Land Restoration Symposium’, 19–21 October 1993, Las Vegas, NV. (Eds BA Roundy, ED McArthur, JS Haley, DK Mann) USDA Forest Service, General Technical Report INT-GTR-315, pp. 271–287. (Ogden, UT)

Loftin SR (2004) Post-fire seeding for hydrologic recovery. Southwest Hydrology 3, 26–27.

Logar R (2006) Results of reseeding a fire-impacted watershed in south central Montana. USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, Forestry Technical Note Number MT-28. (Bozeman, MT)

Montalvo AM, Ellstrand NC (2001) Non-local transplantation and outbreeding depression in the subshrub Lotus scoparius (Fabaceae). American Journal of Botany 88, 258–269.
Non-local transplantation and outbreeding depression in the subshrub Lotus scoparius (Fabaceae).CrossRef | 1:STN:280:DC%2BC3MngtlShsA%3D%3D&md5=b4f44455c1484d9c129934117322785dCAS |

Natural Resource Conservation Service (2010) The PLANTS Database. (National Plant Data Center: Baton Rouge, LA) Available at http://plants.usda.gov [Verified 5 January 2010]

Neary DG, Ryan KC, DeBano LF (Eds) (2005) Wildland fire in ecosystems: effects of fire on soil and water. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, General Technical Report RMRS-GTR 42. (Ogden, UT)

Peppin DL, Fulé PZ, Sieg CH, Beyers JL, Hunter ME (2010) Post-wildfire seeding in forests of the western United States: an evidence-based review. Forest Ecology and Management 260, 573–586.
Post-wildfire seeding in forests of the western United States: an evidence-based review.CrossRef |

Peterson DW, Dodson EK, Harrod RJ (2007) Assessing the effectiveness of seeding and fertilization treatments for reducing erosion potential following severe wildfires. In ‘The Fire Environment – Innovations, Management, and Policy; Conference Proceedings’, 26–30 March 2007, Destin, FL. (Comps BW Butler, W Cook) USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Proceedings RMRS-P-46CD. (Fort Collins, CO)

Pollard JE, Westfall JA, Patterson PL, Gartner DL, Hansen M, Kuegler O (2006) Forest inventory and analysis national data quality assessment report for 2000 to 2003. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, General Technical Report RMRS-GTR-181. (Fort Collins, CO)

Pullin AS, Stewart GB (2006) Guidelines for systematic review in conservation and environmental management. Conservation Biology 20, 1647–1656.
Guidelines for systematic review in conservation and environmental management.CrossRef |

Richards RT, Chambers JC, Ross C (1998) Use of native plants on federal lands: policy and practice. Journal of Range Management 51, 625–632.
Use of native plants on federal lands: policy and practice.CrossRef |

Robichaud PR, Beyers JL, Neary DG (2000) Evaluating the effectiveness of post-fire rehabilitation treatments. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, General Technical Report RMRS-GTR 63. (Fort Collins, CO)

Schoennagel TL, Waller DM (1999) Understory responses to fire and artificial seeding in an eastern Cascades Abies grandis forest, USA. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 29, 1390–1401.

Sexton TO (1998) Ecological effect of post-wildfire management activities (salvage-logging and grass-seeding) on vegetation composition, diversity, biomass, and growth and survival of Pinus ponderosa and Purshia tridentata. MSc thesis, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR.

Smith SA, Sher A, Grant TA (2007) Genetic diversity in restoration materials and the impacts of seed collection in Colorado’s restoration plant production industry. Restoration Ecology 15, 369–374.
Genetic diversity in restoration materials and the impacts of seed collection in Colorado’s restoration plant production industry.CrossRef |

US Department of the Interior, US Department of Agriculture (2006) ‘Interagency Burn Area Emergency Response Guidebook. Interpretation of Department of the Interior 620 DM 3 and USDA Forest Service Manual 2523. Version 4.0. February 2006.’ (Washington, DC)

Wang GG, Kemball KJ (2005) Effects of fire severity on early development of understory vegetation. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 35, 254–262.
Effects of fire severity on early development of understory vegetation.CrossRef |

Wolfson BAS, Sieg CH (in press) 40-year post fire seeding trends in Arizona and New Mexico. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, General Technical Report.



Export Citation Cited By (5)