New publication on aspen seedling establishment explores the boundaries of spatial modeling

Work led by Nathan Gill was recently accepted for publication, focusing on how aspen seedling establishment in the southern Rockies - so often said to be rare or insignificant compared to sprouting - is really quite significant in some cases.  In the case of multiple, compound disturbance environments, perhaps its even more important, as the intense disturbances render all other forms of regeneration worthless.

Gill, other colleagues, and myself pooled data to put together a very large, spatially explicit dataset on aspen regeneration which we then compared to disturbance history.  Several methods for modeling the spatial distribution were tried as well, to give a sense of how and where aspen are recovering.  It really does appear that seed dispersal, not resprouting, is key to revegetation after fires.  This implies (though not explored directly) that post-fire weather and climate is similarly important, as aspen seeds require fairly mesic conditions to survive - so the story only gets more complex!

Gill N, Kulakowski D, Sangermano F, Buma B.    Populus tremuloides seedling establishment: An underexplored vector for forest type conversion after multiple disturbances.  Forest Ecology and Management.  In press.