How ‘green islands’ help forests regenerate after fire

A new study characterizes the role of fire refugia — the green islands of live trees that remain after forest fires — in forest regeneration following large and severe fires in the High Cascade mountains of Oregon and Washington. The results of this study can help determine when human intervention in the form of tree replanting is warranted, when it isn’t, where replanting efforts should be targeted and what species should be prioritized. This is important to know since overplanting can be needlessly expensive and actually place forests at increased risk of future fires.

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