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UnDisciplined: Is human intervention necessary to regenerate forests after a wildfire?

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Remember the smoke that engulfed Salt Lake Valley last summer? Landscapes in the West are experiencing more frequent and intense fires due to hotter, drier summers. A recent study suggests that fire refugia – the green islands of live trees that remain after forest fires – can enhance forest regeneration. This research can guide us in deciding when the human intervention of tree planting is, and isn't, warranted – critical information in our warming world.

Dr. Sebastian Busby is a postdoctoral researcher with the US Forest Service. His research is focused on documenting the vulnerability and resilience of coniferous forests due to changing climate and other disturbances in the Pacific Northwest.

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