This spring, Christy Briles, assistant professor in Geography and Environmental Sciences, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, co-authored a new paper that is the result of three years of research.
The authors report that wildfires can significantly alter forest carbon storage and nitrogen availability, but the long-term biogeochemical legacy of wildfires is poorly understood. And, the research revealed that lodgepole pine forests recover within a century following severe wildfires, which is much more quickly than has been thought.
The article title is: “Biogeochemical impacts of wildfires over four millennia in a Rocky Mountain subalpine watershed.” Co-authors are Dunnette, P.V., P.E. Higuera, K.K. McLauchlan, K.M. Derr, C.E. Briles, M.H. Keefe. 2014. It is published in New Phytologist. 203: 900-912 doi: 10.1111/nph.12828).