New study: Regeneration and microclimate patterns in a structurally diverse ponderosa pine forest

Forest restoration treatments in ponderosa pine forests of the western US emphasize creation and maintenance of complex forest spatial pattern. Patterns of canopy cover and light can alter microclimate and impact seedling germination and growth. We studied fine-scale abiotic conditions and seedling dynamics for 3 years in a dry conifer forests near Denver, Colorodo. We found that canopy cover was important for mitigating extreme conditions, but that survival of all species was greatest in warm dry microclimates.