Tracking the post-fire recovery of native plant communities on Land Trust preserves
The North Bay wildfires had a major impact on the Land Trust’s preserve network and land stewardship program, with four conservation properties totaling over 3,300 acres having burned entirely.
In the immediate aftermath of the fires, the Land Trust was focused on addressing concerns such as erosion risk, visitor safety, and damaged infrastructure and equipment.
In recent months, we have shifted our focus toward monitoring the ecological effects of the fires, with a particular emphasis on recovery of our fire adapted native plant communities.
Establishing photo points has helped us to visually track the recovery of plant communities in burned areas over time. These photo comparisons from our Foote Botanical Preserve illustrate the dramatic recovery of our native chaparral species in just a few months following the fires.
Adaptations for Surviving Fire
There are two general strategies chaparral species utilize to survive fire, both illustrating how these plants have evolved with and adapted to fire as a source of natural disturbance.
- Resprouters have the ability to regenerate from surviving underground root systems following wildfire, even when all of the plant’s stems and leaves have been destroyed.
Other fire obligates found on Land Trust preserves following the North Bay fires...